Lawrence Solomon, who is a somewhat controversial author journalist and public policy activist, has written an interesting article in the Financial Post in which says, in part, that President Donald Trump has engineering a deal which “aims to reform the U.S.-EU half of the US$2 trillion in world trade … [and] … also constitutes an agreement to reform the other half by create an alliance against China. “To protect American and European companies better from unfair global trade practices,” the U.S. and EU said in a clear reference to China, “we will therefore work closely together with like-minded partners to reform the WTO and to address unfair trading practices, including intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, industrial subsidies, distortions created by state owned enterprises, and overcapacity” … [and, further] … Trump’s reordering of the globe’s trading regimes will, not coincidentally, harm the economies of America’s foes and benefit those of America’s friends. The sole exception could be Canada, a consequence of the conclusion to the G7 meeting, which saw Prime Minister Justin Trudeau grandstand against Trump to win political points at home. Had Trudeau accepted the offer Trump had then made — by all accounts a generous concession to Canada — tariffs on Canada’s steel and aluminum exports to the U.S. could have been withdrawn and Canada could have concluded a deal that furthered its economy. Instead, the U.S. is focused on concluding a deal with Mexico, whose new president has a good relationship with Trump. Whether or not that deal excludes Canada — a distinct possibility — Canada has been relegated to third-wheel status and now depends on Trump’s graces. Given the offence he took at Trudeau’s grandstanding, Trump may well prefer to wait until the next Canadian election, to offer him the possibility of dealing with a leader more to his liking.“
I have to affirm that I disagree with a lot of what Mr Solomon says about a lot of things including e.g. nuclear power and how to accommodate the rise of China. But I must acknowledge that Mr Solomon might be right and I might be wrong when he says that Donald J Trump is some sort of business trade genius who is reordering the global trade regime, while I continue to maintain that some village in America has lost its idiot and he has been found in the White House. But, I do not disagree with Mr Solomon when he suggests that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, by virtue signalling when he should have been negotiating and taking cheap shots when he should have been diplomatic, has done Canada a serious disservice.
Time will tell if the Junker-Trump announcements are earth shattering or just a temporary truce, like Christmas 1914, in a long, damaging trade war.
Mr Solomon’s article is worth a read and it will raise the spirits of the Trump Party aficionados here in Canada.