It’s too bad that the substance of U.S. President Donald Trump’s statement at the G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Quebec on June 9 was utterly lost on the general public. His message needed to be heard.
The media tirades against Trump’s policy on trade serve a purpose and it is not to enlighten. Their purpose is to create confusion about where Trump stands on free trade, to hide corrupt trade practices like ‘Supply Management’ in Canada, and to express their hatred about the reality that U.S. President Donald Trump holds all the cards – and Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau holds none.
Both the mainstream media and Leftist political interests portray Trump’s threats of tariffs and trade barriers as a threat to the status quo trade that exists now. None want to acknowledge Trump’s strategy as a means to push other nations to drop their own tariffs, barriers, and subsidies – which is exactly what Donald Trump has been telling them he’s doing all along.
“No tariffs. No barriers. No subsidies. That’s the way it should be,” Trump stressed at the G7 Summit, but few have even heard these words, and continue to believe that Trump is against ‘free trade.’
Added White House chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow: “I don’t know if (the NAFTA negotiators) were surprised by President Trump’s free trade proclamation, but they certainly listened to it and we had lengthy discussions about that. Reduce barriers. In fact, go to zero. Zero tariffs. Zero subsidies. And along the way we’ll have to clean up the international trading system. This is the best way to encourage economic growth.”
Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has boldly and virtuously taken the position that Canada won’t allow itself to get ‘pushed around’ by Trump. He has been supported by the likes of past Conservative MPs Jason Kenney and John Baird, as well as Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford who is about to take the helm as Ontario’s premier elect.
The free trade issue makes strange bedfellows. It also makes hypocrites of those who abandon recognized principles – to achieve power at the expense of losing their objective.
Just ask Maxime Bernier, whose opinions on Canada’s own trade barriers were expressed in a previously-deleted-from-his-book Chapter 5: “Live or die with supply management.” It is an indictment of supply management, both in theory and in practice.
Unfortunately, evidence and argument are often not enough to sway those who have interests to protect at the expense of the public purse.
Consequently, there are those who view the issue of free trade as an ‘ideological’ one. Others see it as mere ‘economic theory.’
It is both, but it is more. Above all, free trade is a moral issue – one that concerns the justifiable use of force in society.
Though the G7 nations would all benefit from trade free of tariffs and barriers, it is those opposing Trump who hypocritically hold most of the barrier cards in this trading game. Watching Canada’s prime minister as the joker at the table, it’s clear that America holds the Trump card.
Whether free trade is seen as economic theory or ideology, the bottom line on free trade is that in the end (and as an end), it’s Just Right for everyone.