Canadians are at the mercy of two very different leaders. One is an unpredictable bully and an egomaniac and the other is a wishy-washy weak leader that can’t or won’t make a firm decision when it counts.
I am referring to Trump and Trudeau, of course.
Right now Trump is consumed with the anonymous opinion that was printed in the New York Times and a book by Bob Woodward who was one of the journalists that brought down Richard Nixon in the seventies.
Both of these sources were quoting statements made by people in his administration that were very critical of his impulsive and erratic leadership.
Trump is thin-skinned and is just furious at these accusations. He is trying everything to find
out who in his administration is the anonymous writer and is basically accusing Woodward of putting falsehoods in the book.
Trudeau, on the other hand, has two problems of his own making which can or will directly or indirectly contribute to an economic mess for Canada.
A serious mistake he made was right after the G7 economic conference when he called a news conference after Trump had left the conference and categorically stated that Canada would not be pushed around by the US.
When Trump heard that interview he was livid and accused Trudeau of being a coward and a weak leader or something to that effect.
The other problem Trudeau has is getting the Kinder Morgan Pipeline built.
The Canadian Court of Appeal put a stop to the pipeline for the time being because they said he did not properly consult with the indigenous people about the pipeline.
That pipeline could have been under construction had Trudeau used the leverage he had with B.C. at the beginning and refused to release any of the $5 billion of infrastructure money promised until Horgan agreed to the pipeline, that would have put B.C. on the defensive.
He also should have passed legislation that would have made it clear that the Federal government had authority to approve infrastructure projects that were in the national interest.
This indecision and political buttcovering is costing Canadians billions of dollars right now.
When Trump was elected as president he said the NAFTA trade deal had to be renegotiated or terminated because it was a bad deal.
For the past three months, the US has ignored Canada and has been negotiating with Mexico during that time.
They did come up with an agreement.
Now he is again negotiating with Canada.
It appears that it is a very intense negotiation.
Two of the issues are the dispute settlement process and Canada’s supply management system that Trump wants Canada to dismantle.
While I agree that supply management has outlived its usefulness, dismantling it is easier said than done due to the billions of dollars invested in the capitalization of the quota.
Trump continually says that NAFTA is unfair to the US and he criticizes the 300 plus per cent tariff that Canada charges on dairy products.
I think the reason that he negotiated with Mexico separately, and why he is being very difficult and threatening in negotiating with Canada now, is that he decided that he would show Trudeau that Canada can be pushed around.
The US has an economy that is 10 times as large as Canada so he thinks he can sacrifice what has been an excellent trade relationship with Canada just to prove his point.
I expect that Canada and Trudeau will have to eat some crow in order to get a trade deal negotiated with Trump.
In spite of his erratic behaviour, Trump is proving that Trudeau is a minor league player.
The US economy is growing and thriving while the Canadian economy has lost billions in investment and thousands of jobs due to climate change policy and no pipeline development.
One more term of Trudeau liberalism and this country will be bankrupt.
by Herman Schwenk