Quick, Quick, Blame it on Trump: Trudeau Liberals are Losing NAFTA Deal and its all on Their Watch!
There is a sinking feeling of panic gripping International Trade, Global Affairs and Finance Canada that we are about to lose our North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the US, once, and for all.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is telling anyone who will listen that “its Donald Trump’s fault” and the PMO communications apparatus is running a full tilt trying to position the Trudeau government ahead of its biggest foreign and economic policy failure. Perhaps the biggest foreign policy failure in Canadian history. The Trudeau Liberals are about to lose NAFTA. Yesterday’s trip to Washington, DC, by Trudeau, and now his run to Mexico, is so the Liberal government can say “well we did everything we could, we even sent the Prime Minister.” Anyone at home who questions the government’s sloppy handling of just about any policy file, but particularly NAFTA, gets nailed by PMO with comments that they need to be supportive of half-hearted measures, and stop being so divisive.
To further try and cover weakness, and failure, and rally anti-American sentiment, the Prime Minister spouted off in Washington that if the US did not ease off their tariffs on Bombardier jets that the Trudeau Liberals would back away from a directed deal, without a fair and open competition, to buy 18 F-18 Super Hornets from Boeing. Eighteen aircraft we do not need, for a ‘fighter gap’ that does not exist. We need F-35 fighter aircraft to ensure our sovereignty in the Arctic, and we need US Missile Defense to ensure our survival against North Korean missiles, rogue or otherwise, that can now reach just west of Ottawa. But no matter. When you know that you are about to get your ‘bottom handed to you,’ you might as well go down swinging. A Don Quixotesque threat in a minor trade spat set against the back drop of the Mount Everest of foreign and economic policy failures might play well to the base of the Liberal Party in Quebec, but it does little to address NAFTA and real Canadian security and economic interests.
Early on we cautioned that the Prime Minister and the people around him needed to avoid being the “anti-Trump ahead of trade negotiations with the US. This is not just Trump, it is a protectionist US Senate, and Congress, that bristles at multi-lateral trade deals. No one living in the real world thought for a minute that NAFTA was just going to be just “tweaked.” Or that the Liberal government could trot around in an arrogant, moralizing manner, with matching socks, and think for one second that American trade negotiators and their political masters at all levels of the US Federal government would not notice and give us a free pass. Sadly, for people in Canada, in the ‘ivory tower’ that is Justin Trudeau’s PMO people do live in a dream world including the Prime Minister himself. It is easy to blame Trump, but as they say, ‘it takes two tangle.’
The Trudeau Liberals are losing NAFTA in the biggest foreign and economic policy failure in Canadian history, and Canadians need to put the blame where it so richly belongs, on the Prime Minister himself.