Trump issues fresh attack on Canadian industry - Macleans.ca
 

Trump issues fresh attack on Canadian industry

Trump complains this time about lumber, energy, and dairy trade deals


 
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he meets with county sheriffs during a listening session in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on February 7, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Andrew Harrer/Getty Images)

(Andrew Harrer/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump has delivered his most sweeping broadside at Canada, blasting the northern neighbour for trade practices he says must be corrected in three areas: energy, lumber, and dairy.

Trump suggested he would have more details to share within a couple of weeks about his government’s plans for the North American Free Trade Agreement – but signalled clearly in the meantime that he intends to play hardball.

“We can’t let Canada or anybody else take advantage and do what they did to our workers and to our farmers,” Trump said in the Oval Office.

“Included in there is lumber, timber and energy. We’re going to have to get to the negotiating table with Canada very, very quickly.”

It’s unclear what specifics he was referring to. On energy, the current NAFTA guarantees the U.S. a fixed rate of Canada’s oil production without any import fees. On lumber, cheaper Canadian wood has reduced the cost of U.S. homes but also caused recurring legal spats with the U.S. industry that alleges product-dumping.

He was a bit clearer on dairy. Trump made it obvious his complaints from earlier this week in Wisconsin were specifically about recent rule changes on milk classification, not on the longer-term issue of Canada’s supply-management system.

“Canada, what they’ve done to our dairy farm workers, is a disgrace. It’s a disgrace,” he said. “Rules, regulations, different things have changed – and our farmers in Wisconsin and New York state are being put out of business.”

It could all be up for discussion in NAFTA and other forums.

As it prepares to enter continental trade negotiations this fall, the U.S. is weighing other actions that affect Canada.

The U.S. is debating the idea of a border tax that could hurt certain imported products – including Canadian oil, which is a leading source of America’s energy supply. Decisions are also expected in the coming weeks on duties on Canadian lumber, another instalment of a once-a-decade feud between Canadian and American lumber producers.

Trump made the remarks while in the process of signing an executive order on U.S. steel.

Indeed, they came at the end of a longer statement, when he said, “I wasn’t going to do this,” before launching into a pointed complaint that echoed sentiments he heard this week about dairy in Wisconsin.

Ironically, one of Trump’s guests in his office for the signing ceremony was the head of the United Steelworkers union – Leo Gerard, a Canadian, from Sudbury, Ont.


 
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Trump issues fresh attack on Canadian industry

  1. This has little to do with anything other than intentionally usurping diplomatic relations between the US & Canada. Trump needs this and will continue to drive a prejudicial wedge between our relationships to garner support from his minions for further diplomatic destruction. I’m beginning to be afraid he actually knows what he is doing, rather than just someone who is lip flapping and posturing like a lunatic.

    • Mark Pick Do you believe America’s is going to have trump screw what is working advantagently for both of us. Simplistic statements are his trade mark and he may find himself all by his lonesome.f Canada says that if this is goiung to happen we may have to supply someone other than the US and we must think seriously what the effect of this new direction is, and then watch American industry get up in arms our relationship is not what can be easily changed. It is the old negotiating trick. How do you negotiate with a nutcase with a grenade threatening to pull the pin.

  2. I would say the answer is easy, trump does not know crap what the situation is he may find out the American customers may not want any changes. Lumber and timber are one and the same, The Americans are not paying a premium so certainly are not going to give extra money for his idiotic financing requirements. Energy and dairy or beef the same thing and trump will have to find out all that is not as easy as he thinks.
    This man is a nut case who blabs instead of thinks, we can be lucky we have good minister as long as our nut case stays out of it.

  3. Trump has, in fact, been well informed. High time our supply management for dairy products and eggs comes to an end. The higher prices it results in for Canadian consumers is in the billions/year. We also sell softwood lumber to Canadian companies from Crown lands below market. This not only screws up the U.S. market, it reduces revenue that the Feds could collect and since the Liberals love to spend more than they have, this could reduce the mounting debt. The energy one is bogus and will disappear. IF there are any good negotiators on Trudeau’s team we should get a few things in return. Hopefully Trudeau doesn’t get involved.

  4. Guess his buddies haven’t made enough money on NAFTA.

    Dump NAFTA!