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US Trade: Canada Has No More Cheeks to Turn

March 5th, 2018 · 35 Comments

When the Trump Republican administration smacked Canada hard on the rear with yet another tariff on Canadian softwood lumber  …. even though we have won EVERY International Trade Tribunal decision over such tariffs in the past 20 years … Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government turned the other cheek: NO retaliation, just fight the Americans AGAIN in Court.

Then the Trump Republican administration supported an attack on our aviation industry by Boeing Corporation and imposed HUGE tariffs on Bombardier aircraft … Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government turned our other cheek: NO retaliation …just fight the Americans in Court.

We won … but a new attack against Canada by the Trump Republicans is on the horizon … against Canadian steel and aluminunm … and Canada has NO MORE CHEEKS to turn!

If Trump and his Republican administration go ahead with their threatened tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum … Canada MUST NOT wait years and fight the attack in International Tribunals … Canada MUST retaliate and make Americans feel the impact of their own decisions/attacks/exclusionary policies.

And the US’s own Trade Department has come up with its own list of American exports to Canada that can help OUR officials hit back:

“The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2016 were: vehicles ($48 billion), machinery ($ 40 billion), electrical machinery ($24 billion), mineral fuels ($16 billion), and plastics ($12billion). U.S. exports of agricultural products to Canada totaled $23 billion in 2016, our 1st largest agricultural export market,” the US Trade Department has offered up.

Here’s a little more help:

“U.S. exports to Canada totaled $375 billion in 2014 – 16 percent of total U.S. exports. Canada is the number one export market for 35 U.S. states.”

Hear that Justin????

In fact, the US Trade Representative has calculated U.S. goods trade deficit with Canada was $12.1 billion in 2016.  Trade between the two nations HAS helped Canadian companies expand the markets for our products.

BUT this is key …  ” Services exports (from the US TO Canada) were $54.2 billion; services imports were $ 26.9 billion. The U.S. services trade surplus with Canada was $24.6 billion in 2016,” according to the American officials’ own calculations.

Get that, Prime Minister???

The US had a TRADE SURPLUS in its dealings with Canada in 2016!!!

And yet Trump … apparently without reading, asking or citing ANY actual facts … has waxed ignorant, aggressive, threatening and rhetorically attacked Canada with his usual hyperbole as being an unfair trader ripping the US off.

He’s a nakedly exposed ignoramus: US officials and US House of Representatives members and US Senators KNOW the Emperor is wearing no clothes, but are too afraid to stand up to him.

Canada MUST!!!

With his silver-spooned background and private schooling under the watchful eye/protection of the RCMP, Justin probably had little or no experience dealing with bullies.

But most of the rest of us have … and WE know that if you let a bully get away with a first assault … a second will absolutely follow…and then a third and more.

Trump IS a bully … and the only thing that will stop him if he does proceed with another attack on Canada is if we …and other trading nations … start to hit back …WITH TARIFFS targeting American goods.

Regrettable, but only if American companies and American workers start feeling the same pain they have been handing out to Canadian companies and Canadian workers will the bully relent.

There’s a LOT to choose from: US-built aircraft (take that, Boeing, Cessna, Gulfstream); American motorcycles; American clothing (like Levis, shoes, boots, sports, fishing, boating and mountaineering gear): American recreational vehicles and other American-built equipment; American plastics, American computers, American agricultural goods that are also abundantly produced in Canada (apples, potatoes, chocolates, candies, canned goods: American wines), and also US-made machinery of all kinds… especially models easily replaceable within Canada or by imports from other friendlier trading partners.

Trudeau has described Trump’s bullying policies as “absolutely unacceptable”.

Big deal!

Does anyone in the real world recall any incident when an attack-prone bully was EVER deterred by just being told his/her antics were “absolutely unacceptable”?

A punch to the nose of a bully may not be pretty … but it’s far more effective and faster than fighting before international tribunals for years.

Especially since we have NO MORE cheeks to turn.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: You can receive free First Alerts of all new posting on this BC and Canadian blog by following @harveyoberfeld on Twitter. No spam…just First Alerts of new topics.)


Tags: British Columbia · International · National

35 responses so far ↓

  • 1 r // Mar 5, 2018 at 10:26 am

    Less selfies more studies.Put down the camera and pick up the calculator.
    Less raw log ,raw oil export.More value added by processing in Canada first.

  • 2 Gene The Bean // Mar 5, 2018 at 10:41 am

    No more cheeks to turn, that is a good one!

    I’d like to see all natural resources and electricity targeted before food and consumer goods. That will put pressure of the Corportists instead of one the consumers. No point attacking Jim and Jane Sixpack even if a little over a third of them voted for a racist narcissistic sociopath.

    The Repugnant’licans will listen to the Corportists, they don’t care about people – far too many examples to use.

    How about a tariff on Canadian diamonds, that’ll at least get Ivanka’s attention…..

    Trump wont last the term. So lets get our shots in before we have to deal with the homophobe bible thumper Pence. Would love to see what is really in that guys closet…..

  • 3 JOhn // Mar 5, 2018 at 11:12 am

    If we can wait til next year maybe we can get rid of ‘Mr. Sox’ and his idiosy. A conservative government might be able to negotiate with the US wih some level of sanity.

  • 4 ellbee // Mar 5, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Never thought I’d agree with Gene, but true dat! A number of years ago, a housing consultant was on the airwaves talking about the tariffs on Canadian softwood. He said that if the regular US citizen knew that because of a few Mom and Pop mills in Georgia that were so inefficient were causing the cost of a new home to be more expensive than they needed to be, they would be up in arms. The problem as he stated was that softwood can’t get into the news cycle. That was being driven by OJ and the latest sexual escapades of Michael Jackson. Now it’s Ivanka and what she’s currently wearing or a porn star and Trump. Sad.

  • 5 Diverdarren // Mar 5, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    At 3:48am President Trump tweeted the underlying reason for the tariffs.

    “We have large trade deficits with Mexico and Canada. NAFTA, which is under renegotiation right now, has been a bad deal for U.S.A. Massive relocation of companies & jobs. Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum will only come off if new & fair NAFTA agreement is signed.”

    There we have it, a little pressure tactic to move negotiations forward.

    From the US stand point I’m sure many Americans (beyond the Trump base) are saying “hell ya!” To seeing their President throw the mighty US economy’s clout around for the benefit of Americans.

    We could, as you suggest, punch the bully I’m the nose… And subsequently get squashed like a bug. Or, we can ride on the coat tails of this US resurgence on he would stage and work to be the closest trading partner to the world’s largest economy and third largest population base.

    I think the choice is clear if we wish to have any sort of preferred trading status with the US. And before we run off and let our nationalism commit economic suicide, check the numbers and know how “small potatoes” we are.

    That, and the fact we have no nationalistic strength anymore. Our identity is multiculturalism, pacifism and placing canadian-ism second to all other cultures and beliefs. We don’t have the “chops” for a trade war and isolationism.

    (Response; Have a little backbone …Canada would NOT be squashed like a bug for merely standing up to the bully. Once American companies/workers see export sales dropping, products rotting in the fields, factory shifts reduced, maybe even some layoffs … the pressure would be on …esp with US mid terms only a few months away. h.o.)

  • 6 Horace B. // Mar 5, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    Harvey: perhaps we can use this trade impasse as an excuse to reduce intra-provincial trade barriers. An emergency session of the premiers might be in order.

    Now may be the time to develop more petroleum refining capacity, so we aren’t buying Washington state gas. Also, if there is room to increase purchases of Mexican produce, we should buy that over US grown food.

    Finally, Mr. Oberfeld, perhaps its time to reconsider using Florida as a winter getaway : )

    (Response; I was home a couple of weeks ago …that’s why there was so much snow and cold; I was home at Christmas, that’s why there was so much snow and ice …clearly God wants me in Florida to do missionary work on behalf of reason, civility and minister to all my Eastern CANADIAN relatives in Fla. h.o.)

  • 7 e.a.f. // Mar 5, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    we can retaliate, but who would notice? O.K. all those you listed, but would Trump even care. the corporations would pass on the cost to consumers and as long as Trump’s billionaire friends think all is fine, all is fine.

    If Trudeau and Freeland et al could make it on to CNN perhaps the word would get out or Canada could simply purchase ads, like the impeach Trump group has done. It might get the message out.

    it was interesting to note that one of Trump’s billionaire buddies dumped his stock in a steel stock which producers cranes a few days before Trump said he’d impose tariffs. Dumped over $23 Million.

    According to American Blogs such as Politico and The Daily Beast Trump is isolated from the mainstream and only speaks with close family, friends, and billionaires at his golf courses. If Canada doesn’t take Trump to court there is nothing which will force the U.S.A. to revoke the tariffs, its not like Trump is going to care, just because there will be Republicans who oppose him on this subject. The wealth of those who support Trump is so great, they just don’t notice all that much. A guy who dumps his steel stock a few days before the announcement isn’t going to care. Wonder if the Koch Brothers dumped stock also?

    His base, those without funds, don’t care either. They’re not exactly well funded or part of the main stream, to use Clinton’s line, they’re the deplorables. they have proven that time and again. Its O.K. to be racist, misogynist, and provide tools to kill children as long as Trump is “sticking it to the elites”. They’re too dump to realize Trump is one of those elites and so are most of his cabinet.

    The only thing which might change things up on tariffs is if during the mid terms, the Senate and House of Representatives go Democratic. Perhaps its time to find a few select PACS, but then that would be illegal, so going to court is legal and works. EVEn if there were mass lay offs because of tariffs, Trump would still spin it as outsiders doing damage to the U.S.A. because they were jealous of them.

    (Response: Absolutely Trump would hear about it…from industries affected, Senators and Congress reps from areas where exports to Canada do count: California, Washington, Idaho agricultural products, wine, clothing, machinery … a 30% tariff WOULD make a point …and hurt US export sales. h.o.)

  • 8 e.a.f. // Mar 5, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    POLITICO has an article up: Republicans Blitz Trump to Head off Tariffs, Paul Ryan and GOP lawmakers to reverse course and weighing actions if necessary. Now will Trump pay attention or will he simply go after those GOP lawmakers during the run up to the mid terms and have them replaced in the primaries with like thinkers. Paul Ryan isn’t in favour of these tariffs, but he might not be there next term. Could be a Democrats. Some of these lawmakers have to run in the primaries and that could knock out any GOP who don’t support Trump.

    The article reflects they may try to reverse Trump’s course as putting it in as part of the up coming budget, which they need to pass to keep the money flowing. Of course a President who thinks trade wars are easy might not care if the government goes un funded. Its not like it will cut into his life style.

    who knows this could all be because Hope Hicks is leaving and he misses he so. It might be best if she came back and tried to talk to him.

    How reasonable can a President be if he thinks its great the President of China is changing their Constitution so he can become President for life and then jokes at a fund raiser perhaps the Americans should look at it. Wonder how it would have gone over if Obama had said this.

    (Response: There are already signs of him backing off ..NOT by withdrawing his move (too stubborn to do that) but maybe keeping it only short term…to satisfy his base, but not really affect cross border trade. All pat of the Trump chaos. h.o)

  • 9 Oldislander // Mar 5, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    I agree with your post. There actually is something that the average Canadian can do about this…!

    Almost every year for the past 20 or so years — every year since retirement — my wife and I have vacationed somewhere in the USA. Over the past year, we have become so appalled by the Trump fiasco, that we’ve decided not to spend another cent in their country until he’s gone. Canadians annually spend many, many billions of dollars in the USA, and if enough of us went elsewhere, it would be a significant loss of revenue for them. Until Trump is gone, we’ll spend our vacation dollars in Canada, Mexico (using airlines that don’t connect in the US…), or Europe.

    If even a small percentage of the Canadian population did the same, there would be a significant loss of tourist income south of the border.

    (Response: As a snowbird who enjoys warm winters in Florida …good for my health as well as my happiness… it would be hypocritical for me to endorse your idea of totally abandoning visits to US. However I HAVE limited my cross-border vacations to only snowbirding…no Vegas, no SFO, no NYC plans etc now. And everyone can and could and maybe should start looking at label choices I buying groceries/produce … lots of Canadian alternatives in many instances. And if Buy American is good enough for down south, nothing wrong with Buy Canadian up north. h.o.)

  • 10 Gene The Bean // Mar 5, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Oldislander – many of us come from different backgrounds, have different experiences and differing political views …. but one things binds us all together – - we often feel powerless. We feel the Guvmint doesn’t always support us or represent us.

    Your suggestion is brilliant and puts OUR money where OUR mouth is. It would make us feel we are taking affirmative action and doing something, even small, that is right and just.

    Sign me up!

    Not a penny of my money goes to Murica until Trump is gone.

    Now…. there will be a few here that will try and counteract our efforts by trying to spend more money down south to help prop up the racist dictator that they support … but really, bottom line, who cares about people like that.

    Personal boycott it is.

    (Response: This from US website : “President Trump’s proposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum will increase U.S. employment in those sectors by 33,000 jobs, but cost 179,000 jobs in other areas of the economy, according to a new report by The Trade Partnership, a consulting firm. This isn’t accounting for any potential retaliation from other countries.” Get that last part …these figures do NOT include losses if Canada retaliates!! If Trudeau government DOES do something … these figures convince me even more Trump will back off quickly; if we do NOTHING, he will just continue to bully Canada. h.o.)

  • 11 Harry lawson // Mar 5, 2018 at 4:37 pm


    If we are accused of dumping , hence a tariff, let’s stop sending steel and aluminum to the Americans period, stop softwood as they try to rebuild houses . Etc . Even if it is just a short term action the American economy would suffer more the Canadian. . Let’s turn off the water

  • 12 Keith // Mar 5, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    Agree with your response to gene the Bean #12…. “ if we do nothing he will just continue to bully Canada”

    In this instance, and for sure it will be something else in the future, any responses from this point on should be with the full cooperation of the opposition parties, keeping the political point scoring out of it. If necessary keeping their respective mouthpieces off the T.V. circuit if they can’t contain themselves. If trump doesn’t get his way with these tariffs he’ll figure something else out, to keep his 35 %. approval rating whilst shoring up the key states.

    Going by the current polls the conservatives could end up governing next time around, so they would have to deal with whatever craziness is current at the time. It would also be good optics for Canada to have a politically neutral and united response.

    (Response: Great idea… maybe Trudeau should INCLUDE the Opposition parties in discussions about how to hit back …what products etc….so the nation would stand united politically …unlike the US. But the key is to do it QUICKLY ..within a few days … don’t send it to a Parliamentary committee! h.o.)

  • 13 nonconfidencevote // Mar 5, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    No one wins in a trade war.

    Trumps bluster is a boorish negotiating tactic for the ongoing NAFTA gender equality talks.

  • 14 Horace B. // Mar 5, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    Personally, I detected no improvements from the free trade deals with the US. For years after the initial agreement, driving to Washington state, I noticed rusty vehicles and peeling paint on our side of the border and the opposite on the US side.

    Let us be willing to allow NAFTA to die.

  • 15 e.a.f. // Mar 5, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    Harvey’s response to #6. Obviously God has spoken and she wants Harvey to spend more time in Florida. So the question is: no snow or Harvey’s blog. I’m all for no snow. Harvey will come back and in the meantime he is spending time with the relatives. Trust me, if he spends too much time with the relatives, he’ll come back, snow or no snow.

    (Response: Or go on another cruise. h.o)

  • 16 13 // Mar 5, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    When it comes to international trade I have limited knowledge. A bit of hands on sometime ago when I did a Seattle freight run 5 nights a week. Usually empty or very light going South and a full load coming home.
    After reading the comments and the HO responses I still have a very bad feeling about the outcome of these negotiations. When I look at Trudeau and his inexperience and tenuous grasp on reality I dont hold out much hope. I cant even comfort myself by thinking “dont worry hes got good advisers”. If Canada comes away from this without looking like road kill it wont be because of our savvy negotiating skills.
    Just think weve placed our future in the hands of Justin Trudeau. Lets pray we dont get what we deserve.

  • 17 Island Lookout // Mar 5, 2018 at 11:09 pm


    …is what President Trump had with our PM in a phone call this evening. Details were not mentioned in a report broadcast on the Fox Cable network.

    But, earlier in the day Trump said he’d ditch the idea of steel and aluminum tariffs, PROVIDED he can get a NAFTA deal that he likes; whatever that might be.

    I wonder how our PM responded. May find out later or not.

    This is not looking good.

    In Pennsylvania yesterday candidates for both parties, the GOP and the Dems, during a campaign debate for a seat in a (federal) Senate byelection, BOTH agreed to Trump’s tariff idea! Fox broadcast clips of both candidates saying just that.

    The report also said segments of big American labour are also on side with Trump.

    That would likely include the steelworkers union (a Trump supporter), which helped the BC NDP with a $600k donation for last year’s election campaign.

    BTW Penn state is a hotbed of Deplorables and part of the US rust belt is also located there.

    Jobs are scarce and needed.

    The GOP holds both Senate seats now. But one is open because of a vacancy.

    Perhaps Trump is onto something here, that members of the DC Swamp (GOP in Congress) have yet to figure out.

    Last week I wrote in this space details of an interview Fox TV had with US Trade Rep. Bob Lighthizer.

    He’s the guy heading up the US NAFTA delegation.

    He said when he talks to Trump who “ran on this (NAFTA issue)…it’s workers, ranchers, farmers. That’s it. It’s wages and it’s jobs.”

    If the US can renegotiate that deal with Mexico, he added, “and hopefully with Canada IF THAT’S POSSIBLE, we’re going to find more jobs (for the US).”

    That was last week.

    On this Monday he expressed disappointment because only six out of 30 agenda items have been settled.

    He indicated that time was running out.

    So, where to from here for Canada?

    As I’ve noted before this Trump I think will take this NAFTA business to “the people” to work up more GOP support for the fall mid-term elections.

    Things aren’t looking good for the GOP right now, by a narrow margin, as the Dems are energized all over the place.

    Taking the twin economic hammers of tariffs and and incomplete NAFTA proposals on the campaign trail may have its merits for Trump.

    I wonder how our high tax environment and obsession with gender rights in the work place will sit alongside big world-size economic events being touted by Trump.

    We wait.

    (Response: Talk is good …IF Trudeau was blunt and warned Canada WILL NOT take another trade attack without retaliating. THAt’S the only kind of language a bully like Trump understands. If Trudeau just said Canada is concerned or would be sad or displeased or disappointed …we’re toast. h.o)

  • 18 nonconfidencevote // Mar 6, 2018 at 6:06 am

    B20 mortgage rules.
    Rising interest rates.
    Falling real estate sales Canada wide.
    Trade wars.

    The perfect storm.

    Our biggest news item of 2018?
    Legalized pot.
    Dont worry. Be happy……..

  • 19 Temm // Mar 6, 2018 at 11:01 am

    17-Island Lookout.
    You get what ho misses.
    Canada is just another s–hole country, that allows Trump to put his pinkie finger in worker nostrils and lead them to the voting booth, mumbling yup, yup, yup.

    Pretty much.

  • 20 e.a.f. // Mar 6, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Trump’s trade rhetoric regarding the steel industry is some what like his coal rhetoric. He wants to save coal jobs when other types of energy have much higher rates of employment and increasing. As some American politicians have been saying regarding Trump’s tariffs, is the jobs he might save will be over whelmed by the jobs they loose due to counter tariffs.

    An interview last evening with the former Gov. of Michigan and Ambassador to Canada advised there was no need for tariffs against Canada. That his state and many others were happy with the current situation, especially agriculture, except a small number of dairy farmers. He went on at some length to speak negatively of Trump’s decision.

    This may all be to create more problems for the NAFTA discussions. His comment regarding tariff’s might be lifted if the NAFTA agreement was “fair”.

    It was interesting to read and watch the news regarding what some believe is the cause of Trump’s decision to call for tariffs. He was in an emotional meltdown last week and the tariffs were the upshot. Its clear to me, trump is mentally unstable and what he says and does has more to do with his mind set at any one time, than the actual facts regarding a situation. With some one like that it doesn’t matter what the other countries do.

  • 21 BMCQ // Mar 6, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    I will not say much on this as I have a Dog in this Race and probably because my Father was born onnBelfast I am superstitious.

    Diver – 5

    Lookout – 17

    Both excellent posts.

    Sound logical thinking, thought provoking, unemotional and devoid of Cheap Tawdry Politics.

    As usual Trump is negotiating nothing more nothing less.

  • 22 Island Lookout // Mar 6, 2018 at 6:00 pm


    Saturday is the day being booted about when President Trump is supposed to sign the pertinent Executive Orders likely in Steel City USA.

    Those Orders would impose 25 per cent import tariffs on steel and 10 per cent tariffs on aluminum. Canada would be a major target.

    Steel City is Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a rust-belt state where a US Congressional byelection takes place next Tuesday in the 18th District.

    The polls have the Democrat and GOP candidates almost tied. The Dem agreed with Trump’s tariff idea, too!

    So did West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin a guest on FOX TV today.

    As did, Leo Gerrard, the Canadian-born president of the massive United Steelworkers Union, based in Pittsburgh, also on FOX today.

    Gerrard’s union, you’ll remember as I mentioned here yesterday, gave the Horgan NDP $675-thousand in campaign donations for last year’s election!

    BC has an aluminum plant situated in Kitimat. How will a Trump tariff affect them, Mr. Premier?
    Mr. Gerrard is hoping, I guess, they’ll avoid sanctions. Workers there belong to the Canadian Autoworkers Union.

    AND Gerrard’s union members will also be building the Kinder Morgan pipeline as they have already made the pipe!

    And there’s more.

    It seems that Trump will not wait on the upcoming likely failure of NAFTA to unleash his fall mid-term election campaign for the GOP by whacking the applicable folks with tariffs right away.

    That campaign was launched this afternoon on the backsides of Canada, China, South Korea, EU, and so on.

    The above-mentioned Senator Manchin also said it’s high time that the US punched back at unfair trade practices by going after China et al.

    Gerrard, in plunking down on Trump’s side in that interview, tried to separate the trade “evil-doers” like China, from the good folks like Canada. But he didn’t quite get the chance in the interview.

    BUT he noted that Canadian and American steel workers make the product in the most environmentally-friendly steel plants in the world (Hamilton, ON is one location).

    Gerrard also said that US Steel is reopening a shuttered plant in Granite City, Illinois, on the strength of Trump’s comments.

    So Manchin, a Dem, might see fit to switch to the GOP at some point?

    And Gerrard will have to ask Trump to go easy on tariffs against Canada.

    Meanwhile Trump plans on whacking hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese investments already domiciled in the US.

    Trump says the US is saddled with an $800-billion trade deficit so a tariff war is no big deal for the USA.

    Let’s hope he’s right.

    Canada’s big banks ALSO do a lot of business in the US and they NEED to have trade peace. So do us shareholders! Fun being a colony isn’t it? It’s all good.

    Also today, Gary Cohn the former President of Goldman Sachs Bank, has quit the Trump Administration. He may take up another important post elsewhere.
    His replacement will be announced shortly.

    Cohn is seen as a globalist, not a US-First protectionist.

    Where, in all of this confusion is our Prime Minister?

    Lose the selfies there young lad, it’s serious time. Do you have any idea just how serious?

    We’ll all know soon.

  • 23 Gene The Bean // Mar 6, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    Island Lookout – interesting you believe Canada is just a colony of Murica and think that is somehow good.

    Lets all remember that going forward….

    Very succinct and on topic post, I’ve read it a number of times and still have no idea what your point is supposed to be…..

    The defections are just beginning as any normal person see’s their personal reputation will be forever tarnished by any association to the big orange clown.

    No worries for you though Lookout, you’ll always be praised for carrying ‘you know who’s’ jock here……

  • 24 e.a.f. // Mar 7, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    “where in all this is confusion is our P.M.” asks #22. Its a good question. If he is smart he will keep his mouth shut for the time being and let the Americans fight it out amongst themselves. Why get involved in a fight which we, at this time, don’t know how its going to turn out. Freeland is doing her job at the NAFTA negotiations. there is not need for the P.M. to jump in at this point.

    Some put this tariff “quest” of dtrumps down to an emotional meltdown. Some put it down to the special election in Penn. and therefore you have both Dems and Rep. saying similar things.
    Gary Cohen’s resignation is sending a message: the W.H. is in chaos and it is not getting better. As some American pundits and comedians are suggesting, who really even wants to work at the W.H. any more. Trump will most likely hire some righter wing protectionist.

    Our P.M. is better off to wait until the smoke clears out before he opens his mouth and I’d suggest that is what he is doing.

    if dems take over Congress after the mid terms all of this may be not much. If Trump’s administration becomes more mired in the Mueller’s investigation, who know what will happen. why get your things in an up roar when wait and see may do just as well.

    The poisoning of the former spy in G.B. may put another spin on things. dtrump is acting tough with everyone except the one he ought to be: Russia. Perhaps all of this is simply a cover/distraction because of the “Russian thing”. Trump’s always been good at distraction and deflection. His speech/press conference with the P.M. of Sweden present clearly demonstrates how “off” he is. In my opinion Trump is a nut bar and why bother responding. It won’t do any good anyhow.

    (Response: With Trump in the White House …the smoke will NEVER clear. Sounds like you’re talking about doing nothing/surrender. Has never worked in dealing with bullies before. Doing nothing will only lead to MORE attacks by Trump …using Canada as a punching bag to amuse his base. h.o)

  • 25 Island Lookout // Mar 7, 2018 at 1:39 pm


    Whatever your offering meant! I’ve spent too much time wondering. Moving on.

    I carry no one’s water for any reason. You must know that by now.

    Geopolitics is my hobby. I’ve been studying the comings and goings of political and other major events for decades now.

    I’ll keep on doing so, because now I have more time.

    UPDATE: Looks like Trump will be visiting the 18th District in Pennsylvania this weekend to “bolster” the election hopes (March 13 Special election) for the Republican candidate who is seeking a Senate seat.

    The big question: will he sign those promised Executive orders laying on import tariffs for steel and aluminum? If so, will he exempt Canada and Mexico pending the outcome of dubious NAFTA talks?

    We can only wait.

    The US stock market has been all over the map today, up and down in part because of tariff worries.

    BTW latest gossip has Trump’s soon-to-be former chief economic advisor Gary Cohn (a Democrat and former president of Goldman Sachs, the bank of record for the American Empire) will be staying on for a few more weeks at the White House and may be offered a cabinet post after that. A good idea.

    Never mind the markets, it’s rather amazing how many really big events are also swirling through the US administration this week, so far, and it’s only Wednesday.

  • 26 BMCQ // Mar 7, 2018 at 4:42 pm


    Almost ALL here appreciate your very interesting Posts.

    I for one appreciate your willingness to offer insightful analysis and opinions on various topics.

    It is by listening to others on this Blog and other forums that we are all able to extract information, facts, ideas, and form our own opinions on any subject. It is all part of the learning process and understanding the World around us.

    As a Conservative I do not agree with many on this Blog on most Topics all that often but time and time again I learn something from various points some of them make.

    IMHO that is how we grow as people.

    You offer lots to this Blog and other than to one Bitter Self Important Individual with a “Superiority Complex” you are appreciated very much.

    As I mentioned up the page due to circumstances I hesitate to say too much on this Blog Topic.

    Keep up the good work, I look forward to your next Post.

  • 27 Island Lookout // Mar 7, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    #26 BMCQ

    Thanks for the kind words. It’s a mug’s game this.


    –Asian stock markets, overnight, all move smartly higher.

    –Dow futures also up.

    –So, economic advisor Gary Cohn’s resignation from the White House has been fully discounted by the markets; nothing to see here folks.

    –A Chinese economic bureaucrat was on TV from Beijing to decry the prospect of a trade war with the US but said his country is ready to respond. Of course it is.

    –Meanwhile Chinese economic numbers all powered higher last month, year over year, by 44 per cent! Are those stats accurate?

    –Meanwhile the CEO of US Steel David Buritt credited President Trump with his company’s decision, announced Tuesday, to reopen a steel blast furnace in Granite City, Illinois, where 500 unemployed steel workers will be returning to their jobs.

    High time was the way Mr. Burritt described Trump’s nationalistic promise to bring in steel and aluminum tariffs against Canada et al.


    Speaking of those tariffs, will Trump actually make good on his promise to sign them into law, through Executive Orders BUT with no exemptions? I believe so.


    As I’ve mentioned earlier, this decision will be a trade weapon to beat Canada and Mexico into agreeing to a NAFTA deal that only Trump will love.

    It takes about three months for Congress to debate and approve such deals. And as I’ve mentioned before a US-influenced NAFTA proposal would become Trump’s big club in the fall mid-terms. So, he must soon announce he’s quitting the deal.

    Meanwhile, once a new NAFTA deal is signed will those tariffs come off. Not sure.

    It is also interesting to note that steel companies in Canada and the US are owned largely by huge multi-nationals, companies without borders.

    So, would imposition of tariffs see some plants closing here and others expanding, in the US mainly?

    Is this why Trump seems unfazed by trade war rhetoric?

    PM Trudeau, a former little-known stage actor/instructor at a private school for the privileged, and a sometime part-time shadow boxer brings exactly what to the negotiating table against Trump?

    Don’t know or anything right now.

    Trump, however, is a New York down and dirty “street fighter” with a half century of pushing against many of the sharpest real estate developers and local government officials all around the world to make deals.

    There have been many failures, including a couple of hotel “issues” this week in Vancouver and Panama, but successes are still evident.

    He comes loaded for bear; always brings a gun to a knife fight I think someone once said.

    We must wait. Will it be bluster or the real meal deal?

  • 28 BMCQ // Mar 8, 2018 at 7:46 am

    Here are one or two things we should think about, every single one of us.

  • 29 Gene The Bean // Mar 8, 2018 at 9:15 am

    If anyone actually believes it’ll be tRump directly negotiating with Trudeau – you are really drinking the Faux News Kool-Aid. It doesnt work like that….. but the low information types eat that up and believe the tRump brand is the orgasmic version of capitalism. Makes me laugh.

    tRump cannot form a proper sentence unless he is reading it. He speaks like a 14 year old with Aspergers. His “knowledge” of anythig outside of his waistband is limited to the extreme. He is a walking talking (sort of) joke of an adult.

    I would bet he doesnt even know what NAFTA stands for.

    Was going to stroke some ego’s and praise some commenters but, you know, I am an adult and grew out of the “please like me stage” a long time ago.

  • 30 e.a.f. // Mar 8, 2018 at 11:28 am

    #27, at the end of your post you appear to be listing Trump’s attributes. However, CNN was reporting Trump’s assets were down $400M. Not a great e.g. Then when you look at how many times he has bankrupted himself, all the trades he didn’t pay for work done, none of that says successful business person. Its says grafter, scam artist. All sizzle, no meat, if you’re in the steak business.

    What Trump is good at is advertising. He is not good at doing the actual work to get the business to the finish line. His hires to do the actual work have more to do with their ability to complement him than any thing else. In my opinion Trump is not a good business person. too many bankruptcies. His word has not been good for much. A lot of bluster and that’s it. On this morning’s news there are reports Trump is saying perhaps tariffs are not necessary regarding Canada. That may well be because Canadian Cabinet Ministers have been meeting with senior officials around D.C. Perhaps they are getting through to Trump that 35 American states rely on Canada as their No. 1 customer. Tariffs will hurt them more than Canada.

    Yes, the steel company is “talking” about re opening, however, another smaller company, which is trying to grow says if the steel tariffs are brought in, his business may go out of business. Big corporations like U.S. Steel frequently close a plant because they can make More money doing something else, not that they were loosing money, but if they did something different, their stock value would go up. So the question which might be asked is, if corporations like U.S. Steel have no loyalty to their communities, workers, etc. why should they benefit from trade tariffs which will put thousands of others out of work?

    Oh, well with the jokes on Stephen Corbett and Seth Myers last night, who knows where Trump will be in another week or so, if Ms. Daniels gets to “speak” or distribute pictures of Trump. We could have Mike Pence sitting in the oval office and a new V.P. named Paul Ryan who isn’t keen on tariffs against Canada. They impeached Clinton for far less, well their weren’t pictures…..

    Harvey its true Trump is a bully, but he is a bully and a narscist so the usual rules, in my opinion, don’t apply. Normal bullies when faced with strong opposition do back down. Trump just deflects and distracts and doesn’t care because he is so convinced not only is he right, but he is admired by the masses. He is so into himself, that he doesn’t always see the danger.

  • 31 Harry lawson // Mar 8, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    #26 , China has one ace in the hole , China can turn in and demand payment for all,of the treasury notes they hold . As I have said before smoke and mirrors .

  • 32 Island Lookout // Mar 8, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    #31 H l


    Countries the size of China, and there are only two others — US and Japan –, don’t/won’t do that sort ot thing…EVER.

    Why? They would lose credibility because numerous investor nations would fear borrowing money from China.

    And China’s business “community” would stand to “suffer” economically in various trade, foreign exchange transactions and other matters.

    Then there is China’s imperial ambitions, through lending money to Third World countries in kind or in public works, to expand its influence everywhere in competition with the US.

    BTW the largest holder of short-dated US Treasuries is Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. It has stashed away more than one hundred million dollars according to a recent US business website.

    #30 e.a.f.

    Are you spending too much time watching the MSM? Take an aspirin and get some sleep.

    Trump is worth billions while just about all of the rest of us are not. So give it a rest.

    And the crummy little gnomes, who call themselves journalists long ago crossed the River Styx, now reside in a self-made Hell of propaganda and terminal bathwater guzzling safe-spaces.


    Meanwhile Trump’s new steel/aluminum tariffs policies are the thin edge of the trading wedge that will cause Canada and Mexico especially to pay a lot more attention to what’s shakin’ in Trumpistan.

    The critical part of the “deal” so-called, was Trump’s invitation to steel producers everywhere to set up shop in the US and not have to pay US federal TAXES!

    Remember that most of Canada’s large steel-makers are neither Canadian nor American owned.

    Which means some companies could up and move from Hamilton ON to the US.

    The tariff amounts announced are the prods Trump will use to get an American-friendly NAFTA deal.

    Over the next few months Trump will use NAFTA to attract more Republican votes in the upcoming mid-terms.

    But I’ve been saying that for days here now OK?

    Will there be an international trade war?

    I don’t think so.

    All the players are making too much money right now, so why louse it up with litigations and exchanges of threats and bad language? Makin’ money is what it’s all about.

    However it may interest you to know that the EU has just imposed a 72 per cent tariff penalty against Chinese-made steel pipe.

    It may also interest you to know that American cars selling in China are hit with 25 per cent tariffs by China while Chinese cars selling in the US are hit with only 2.5 per cent US tariffs.

    This will also change.

    So will a lot of other things.


    Great news that Trump and Little Rocket Man will meet personally by May. Good stuff there.

    Just hope the Democrats don’t accuse Trump of colluding with Communists!

  • 33 e.a.f. // Mar 9, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    #32, we really don’t know what Trump is worth because he won’t release his taxes. My thought, that guy isn’t as rich as he likes out to make he is. Trump is one of those guys who is all sizzle no steak, well perhaps a tube steak, but only Ms. Daniels will be able to tell us that……..

    crumby little gnomes, that is the free press you’re discussing and not all are crumby We may not agree with them on all things or even some things, but without some of them we’d be in real trouble. its not nice to refer to working journalists as crumby little gnomes. Remember Harvey was once a journalist.

    As to the comment on the U.S.A./Trumpistan, its good to keep an eye on the neighbours and Ms. Freeland does a good job. She and hers are part of the reason Trump most likely “changed” his mind on the tariffs for Canada. The American economy is a house of cards and can come down in an instant, just remember the Dowd/Frank law is being repealed so we could have another crash type situation and if it happens while Trump is in office, there won’t be any way to come back from it any time soon.

    Kim 3 and Trump getting together ought to be the comedy show of the year. The Kims have been at this for 70 years and getting ahead. They do the same routine every few decades, come to the table, walk away, get even. But in the meantime they got what they wanted. This time they will be able to tell their citizens they got the U.S. President to come to the table because he was afraid of them and Kim. Kim may say he is going to give up nuclear tests and perhaps even the nukes, but really, they’ve played this sort of game before with the west. Anyhow they now know where their missles can reach and next time they can just load them up with poison. Some intel. suggests they have sold some to Syria. The nice thing about sending poison as opposed to a nuke is only the people are dead. the real estate is just fine.

    wonder where the meeting will take place? wonder if Trump will make it back alive? wonder if Kim 3 will send a few nukes out while he is meeting with Trump?

  • 34 BMCQ // Mar 9, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    Let’s be realistic for God Sake!

    What difference does it really make if DJT is worth $ 6, 8, or 10 Billion?

    I have heard Mr. pattisons net worth pegged anywhere between $ 5 to 9 Billion.

    I can guarantee you that you could not tell My Net Worth from my Income Tax Returns and you cannot tell what Bernie Sanders is worth from his returns.

    U.S. politicians File a Financial Disclosure Statement and it is very difficult to discern exact Net Worth.

    One last thing here.

    You will very soon know the Exact Net Worth of poor old Bernie and his Wife as she may soon to be Endicted On Fraud and Racketeering Charges in connection with a Land Deal and her time at a University.

    That action will guarantee Full Disclosure.

    Keep in mind that Obama could not manage to get a meeting with any Rogue Leader other than a Rogue Cub Pack Leader That got caught Shoplifting at Walmart.

    It is now well known that other than a few EU Uber Liberal Leaders most World Leaders considered him about as relevant as PM Justin or Jimmy Carter.

  • 35 G. Barry Stewart // Mar 15, 2018 at 7:27 am

    Unsurprising news that Trump lied to Trudeau in a trade talks meeting:

    From the story: “The US president – notorious for making false claims on countless issues – admitted he told Trudeau that America has a trade deficit with its neighbour when he “had no idea” if that was true.

    The office of the US trade representative states that the American goods and services trade surplus with Canada was $12.5bn in 2016.

    According to the recording, Trump told guests at a fundraising dinner in Missouri: “Trudeau came to see me. He’s a good guy, Justin. He said, ‘No, no, we have no trade deficit with you, we have none. Donald, please.’

    “Nice guy, good-looking guy, comes in – ‘Donald we have no trade deficit.’ He’s very proud because everybody else, you know, we’re getting killed … So he’s proud. I said, ‘Wrong Justin, you do.’ I didn’t even know … I had no idea.”

    End of quote.

    (Response: He really IS a moron! And what I find most fascinating… he said this and it was recorded/leaked at a VERY high-priced Conservative/Republican fund-raiser. h.o)

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