Trump and Canada could freeze a deal with Naphtha

If ever there was a truism in international trade, it would be free trade between the US. UU And Canada. The two countries are the closest of friends and allies, and their economies are so closely related that trade barriers with Canada could leave eight million Americans unemployed. And if you're the type that cares about trade deficits, the US UU They have a surplus of $ 12,500 million with Canada in goods and services. However, despite these benefits, the current renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement may lead to a rupture between the two trading partners.

Part of the blame is due to a White House that reflexively mistrusts international trade. At a small White House meeting on trade that I attended, the president


He spent five minutes criticizing China before launching a 20-minute attack against Canadian trade policies. It was "Culpe a Canada", directly from "South Park".

Another problem is the total lack of interest of the Americans in the Great White North. A survey showed that 92% of Americans expressed a favorable opinion of Canada when requested. But Canada does not affect the American consciousness much. It's what Poland was in the

Alfred Jarry

play "Ubu


":" The action takes place in Poland, that is, nowhere. "

The biggest obstacle to renegotiating Naphtha, however, comes from Canada: a combination of sins of commission and omission.

The sin of commission is Canada's attempt to force political correctness in commercial dealings requesting new chapters on gender and indigenous groups With the move, Prime Minister

Justin Trudeau

intends to point out its antagonism towards the famous politically incorrect

Mr. Trump.

Provoking Mr. Trump may be a popular move among Canadian voters, who have an increasingly unfavorable view of the United States. But the distraction caused by the dispute between the two leaders could threaten the broader negotiation.

The growing tensions between EE. UU And Canada represents a drastically different starting point for bilateral climate negotiations in recent years. It used to be a tradition that newly elected American presidents would select Canada for their first diplomatic visit. It is already too late for Mr. Trump to do the same, and I would be surprised to see him visit Ottawa at any time during his remaining term. What would you gain apart from public abuse?

In the president


On his last visit to the House of Commons of Canada, in June 2016, members of Parliament beat their desks and shouted: "Four more years!" It was a love festival. As delirious as it is joyful, Mr. Trump's visit would be the opposite: a hatred.

Mr. Trudeau

the sins of omission present an even greater concern. The Canadian government has not done enough to sell the agreement. He could have promoted the importance of Nafta with a front-line campaign: meeting with editorial boards to mbadage the media, get full-page ads in major newspapers and sponsor conferences in which academics discuss how many American jobs would disappear if the deal was abandoned.

The most important thing is that the Canadians could have explained the need for a dispute resolution mechanism in which a panel of experts would be empowered to rule on the tricks that the two countries mutually claim to have played in their trade negotiations. This provision is essential for Canadians, but they have not bothered to present the case.

Those who give priority to US sovereignty – who think that the United States should never undergo binding bi-national arbitration – could think twice if they remember how we have given reasons for other countries to distrust us. Consider the Loewen Group of Canada, a funerary conglomerate that was taken to the cleaners in 1995 by the Mississippi litigation attorneys. A contractual claim against


that could have amounted to a few million dollars inflated to $ 500 million after a jury, frowned upon and allowed to hear tendentious evidence, awarded damages to the plaintiff for emotional distress. The decision was reviewed by a panel of Nafta – including a member of the British House of Lords and a former Australian president of justice, who concluded that the case had been an example of Third World justice. But in the end, the US panel member persuaded his colleagues to keep the prize for technical reasons.

Now this is what is really amazing. In the midst of the renegotiation of Nafta, Canada managed to negotiate a trade agreement with the European Union and join the Trans-Pacific Partnership. One wonders why


the government so avidly pursues trade agreements with all, except the USA. UU Could the condescending form of the prime minister mask a greater disdain for his country's largest trading partner?

If everything collapses and the United States is seen as hostile to free trade, the big winner will be China, with its eager search for new markets for its products.

Mr. Buckley

teach to


Faculty of Law and author of "The Republic of Virtue: How we try to prohibit corruption, we fail and what we can do about it"

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