How Canada will fare in closing trade negotiations with the United States is among the big questions of the day. Actions like Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau’s impotent trade retaliations only serve to demonstrate Canada’s failure to understand the election of Donald Trump, a president who has vowed from the beginning that he would re-negotiate NAFTA.
So says Salim Mansur, who joins us for a discussion that illustrates ‘political theatre’ from NAFTA to the New York Times, where an admission of apparent criminal and unethical behavior on the part of an anonymous op-ed writer is being reported as reflecting poorly on Donald Trump! Thanks to the Trump Derangement Syndrome, when it comes to anything political, we don’t get news anymore. Instead we get political theatre masquerading as news.
Watching Leftist politicians/media on both sides of the Canada/US border signal the virtues of ‘free trade’ while standing firm on their protectionist policies is pure political theatre. It is political theatre watching them accuse Trump of being the villain opposed to free trade – when the only national leader on the world stage who has explicitly sought ‘zero’ tariffs and barriers in those very terms has been Donald Trump!
Fact is, certain economic interests often join forces with political interests willing to use the force of law to give them a trade advantage by placing barriers and tariffs on their competition. Or, an advantage can be secured by government subsidies or tax breaks unavailable to others. Given his ‘no tariffs no barriers’ trade philosophy, that’s why Donald Trump is their enemy and must be made to look the fool.
Free trade is not merely about economics, as most would like to believe. In arriving at a trade deal that is Just Right for everyone affected, it might be useful to remember that the ‘free’ in ‘free trade’ ultimately refers to the individuals engaged in it.