This is only my opinion, and not the representation of Saintel Daily, LLC.
Is Donald Trump against a wall when it comes to Canadian lumber? The answer might be yes. And while I recognize that this topic itself is pretty boring, it speaks to a larger issue of American-Canadian relations. I wrote a previous post about how I think that Justin Trudeau is doing what he needs to in order to keep the peace. Which I think is commendable. But, I think deep down he’s extremely ruthless. There are many people (mostly Canadians) who don’t like him. They don’t think he’s qualified to run a country. But in light of certain events south of the border, I would argue that any one could do it. Trudeau, however, had the benefit of being the son of a former Prime Minister. In many ways he was groomed into this roll. People don’t like him because he’s a bit too laid back.
Which gives off the impression that he is a push over. While I don’t know for sure, my guess is that he has some pretty sneaky moves up his sleeves. It’s almost like a mother bear protecting her cub. She will go bat-shit crazy at anyone trying to mess with the cub. In this case, the country is the cub, and Trudeau is the mama bear. So what is happening now you ask? Well, Donald Trump is knee deep in trade concerns. And on one hand, I can understand that he wants to support American made products in order to help the economy. But on the other hand, he has to realize that we live in a global economy, and that one country cannot survive on it’s own. Or at least from a resource perspective.
So Donald Trump has been throwing around some pretty serious ideas. For the past several months, he has been trying to pull the United States out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. I am not going to get into all the benefits of NAFTA, but I will say this – America benefits more than anyone in these trade deals. Or at least from an importing perspective. And who is their biggest trading partner? That’s right, Canada. What’s happening now is that Donald Trump is saying that Canadian softwood lumber companies are being advantaged when it comes to exporting lumber. They’re profiting far too much in his opinion. And he wants to see American companies sell their products. Again, this is a fair thing to say. But instead of promoting American lumber in a different way.
Instead, he’s asking for tariff’s to be placed on the incoming Canadian softwood lumber. Which goes against, for the most part the NAFTA agreement. Which means that Trudeau gets his back up and eventually unleashes the beast on Trump. Meaning, he’s going to take it to the next level, and in this case, he’s not going to import American coal. I am not necessarily taking Trudeau’s side on this just because I am Canadian. I am, however, more concerned about these unilateral decisions that Trump seems to be making. Honestly, trade benefits all of us. And free trade benefits us even more.
The issue I can see is going to be for the American economy. Canada doesn’t have to continue to import from the United States. Aside from maybe cars. But with new agreements with the European Union, and existing agreements with African countries we are able to import more and more fruits and vegetables from outside the United States. I’m not sure that it will go this far, but Trump might see that Canada doesn’t want to export oil to the United States any more. In fact, Canada looses when we do that as we then have to buy our own refined oil back from the United States. Which is absurd, regardless of how you swing it.
My point is, that these relationships need to be improved upon. But Trump is making that difficult. It will be interesting to see what happens from these types of trade bans. For those of you who think that Trudeau doesn’t have a harsh bone in his body, you best watch out. I can only imagine what he will do when the rubber meets the road.