By now, we all know that the republican Donald Trump and his entourage have arrived at Davos, Switzerland on January 25, 2018 to attend the World Economic Forum with other World Leaders. The president was greeted with a rock star status. On January 26. 2018, the president is expected to deliver his, “America First” speech where the USA is open for business.
But then, there are the undertones. For instance, it would be expected/ the norm that President Trump and the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would meet but it appears they have no intention to get together.
They both are very different on how they approach leadership in their respective countries. PM Trudeau has been negotiating for Canada to be a part of the TPP multi-national trade agreement, whereas President Trump has been leaning towards isolationism for the USA. It looks like World leaders are leaving the USA behind as they forge ahead to make the TPP trade agreement a success which has been developed to thwart China’s attempts to corner a monopoly on trade.
The PM Trudeau cares about the issue of income inequality in Canada, however, President Trump just helped pass the 2017 “trickle down economic” republican partisan tax cuts bill which will exacerbate the problem of income inequality in the USA when the US is already rated as #1 in income inequality when compared to other rich developed countries. Typically the developed countries have less income disparity between the rich and the middle class/ poor than developing or third world countries. The USA is the exception. In 2017, 85% of the wealth in the USA went to the top 1%.
Here’s the rest of the story…
On January 25,2018, Benjamin Locke of Washington Press penned the following report, “Justin Trudeau just pulled a humiliating move against Trump at Davos”
“One reason world leaders go to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum is to have one-on-one meetings with each other to discuss issues and build relationships.”
“Although Canada is the largest U.S. trading partner and traditionally America’s closest ally, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau didn’t seek or have a meeting with President Trump or any of the cabinet secretaries accompanying the U.S. president to Switzerland.”
“Apparently, Trump did not seek out a meeting with Trudeau either.”
“At a press conference, before he left – the day before Trump gives his keynote address – Trudeau said that he has “many opportunities to exchange on the regular basis with the President. We talk on the phone. We see each other at a broad range of international and local venues.”
“So when was the last time Trudeau and Trump spoke? October 16.”
“When was the last time they met? October 11.”
“o more than three months later, there’s nothing to talk about?”
“There are the tariffs the U.S. has put on Canadian softwood lumber and jet aircraft made by Bombardier; Canada’s ambitious Ocean’s Protection Plan; and Canada’s recent deal to join with 10 other countries to revive a version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that Trump refused to join.”
“Or they could have discussed Trump’s crackdown on immigration and his latest plan to build a giant wall not just on the Mexican border, but also along the Canadian border.”
“They certainly would have lots to chew over the pending renegotiation of the NAFTA agreement, the three-way trade pact with Canada that has become a major political issue in both countries.”
“The Prime Minister also participated in a roundtable with key U.S. industry leaders to discuss how we can strengthen trade between Canada and the U.S.,” a statement from his office out today reports, “and modernize NAFTA to the benefit of the middle class in North America.”
Or Trudeau could have had a chat with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross who, according to the Toronto Globe & Mail, “criticized Mr. Trudeau on Wednesday for using the platform of the World Economic Forum to ‘put pressure’ on the U.S. in its NAFTA negotiations.”
“We’re working very hard to show our neighbor to the south just how good NAFTA is,” Trudeau said at the World Economic Forum. https://usat.ly/2BnSKEQ
Canada’s Trudeau pokes Trump on NAFTA deal
Canada and the United States share one of the largest trading relationships in the world.
Trudeau takes shot at Trump protectionism at Davos forum https://fb.me/JQHrBzLo
Trudeau takes shot at Trump protectionism at Davos forum
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau criticised the protectionist policies of US President Donald Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday while fervently defending the virtues of free…
“In his own keynote address, Trudeau told reporters that he “reiterated the stand he took against corporate greed,” a very un-Trumpian stance.”
“Many employees continue to put profits ahead of the well-being of their employees,” he told reporters. “We simply cannot afford to let this kind of thinking continue to dictate corporate behavior.”
“It is impossible to ever imagine those words coming out of Trump’s mouth. His entire administration has been about pumping up the stock market and pleasing Wall Street, where the needs of workers take a back seat to making profits to please investors.”
“Trudeau is the kind of guy who worries about economic inequality being not only unfair but also a threat to civil society, as workers get angry that a handful of the super-rich keep getting wealthier while the wages and benefits for everyone else remain stagnant, even as the price of just about everything keeps going up – destroying their buying power.”
“Trudeau also used his trip to promote equal rights for girls and women, not just in pay, but also in terms of education.”
“In Davos, Trudeau announced Canada was doubling its pledge of $189 million to the Global Partnership for Education for the period from 2018 until 2020, as he put it, “to help strengthen education systems in developing countries while providing targeted support for girls education.”
“In the U.S., Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is busy cutting funding for public education while promoting private charter schools that teach religion and a morality that serves the rich while ignoring the poor, male or female.”
“DeVos is making it more expensive for kids to go to college, and undermining programs to soften the high cost of student loans and give those who graduated long ago but still have a huge student loan debt ways to cope with the burden.”
“Maybe Trudeau knew that Trump would not want to discuss the high cost of healthcare in the U.S. that is sending everyone but the rich into debt and often bankruptcy, while Canada provides a single-payer system that guarantees health care as a human right.”
“Once the closest of friends, as well as the closest of neighbors, the U.S. and Canada now seem to be growing apart.”
“Canada cares about human rights and Trump cares about what Fox News says so that he can tweet about it.”
“It must be hard for the young, thoughtful, intelligent leader of Canada to want to be locked in a room with the boastful, lying, philandering American president, so it is not hard to see why they didn’t meet and haven’t talked in over three months.”
We have a Prime Minister & Minister of Finance who were found in breech of multiple ethics violations & a Minister of Status of Women who can’t get a Canadian passport due to lies on an immigration form but who is traveling on a diplomatic one to Davos & this is the CBC headline? https://twitter.com/thecurrentcbc/status/955807331870126081 …
Trudeau’s biggest asset is Trump. Both as a distraction and by exhibiting such unbecoming behavior that Trudeau looks like a competent, honorable, statesman in comparison.
“Mexico and Canada have lost confidence in the U.S. president,” Pew Research reported in June, adding that confidence in the U.S. president “declined sharply this year.”
“Trump may think he is making America great but the rest of the world, according to multiple polls, does not agree – especially those in Europe.”
Global respect matters. How others perceive us is good for our economy and our ability to influence outcomes… https://fb.me/QWxM1StI
Trudeau and Merkel, most respected global leaders; Trump and Putin, with highest disapproval
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel are viewed as the most respected globally, while U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin saw the…
“You can bet they have a lot higher opinion of Trudeau than they do of Trump, and the way it is going, that situation is only going to get worse.”
“Trudeau is right not to talk to Trump if he can avoid it. And that is unfortunate for all Americans.”
This is a story that’s close to my heart, Gronda. As a Canadian, I was relieved that Trudeau was not going to be seen posturing with Trump at Davos. Trump has been two-faced with Trudeau – saying publicly that Canada was not the problem the US had with NAFTA. Later he labels Canada as “uncooperative” and “difficult” during the NAFTA negotiations. Then there are the twin issues of the softwood lumber and Bombardier tariffs. They see eye to eye on absolutely nothing under the sun so why should they meet for a photo op? I think Trudeau believes that NAFTA is dead.
Border crossings from Canada into the States have become increasingly difficult. I know of two incidents where Canadian business executives were stopped at US Customs while on their way to a speaking engagement. They were refused entry because they were taking a job away from American business speakers. Their error was being honest at the border – they should have simply declared that they were attending a business conference.
There is no question that Trump and his sycophants have damaged Canadian/American relations and Canadians are not happy about it! Thanks for putting a spotlight on this issue, Gronda.
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Dear John Fioravanti,
PM Trudeau is taking the more responsible road. There is no point in negotiating with an unreliable broker as in the case of the US with President Trump as its leader.
It is disheartening to hear about Canadians having difficulties at the border. The president needs to learn to treat his neighbors/ friends better.
As I expected, the president arrived in Davos to deliver his speech but he left soon after. He knows when he is out of his depth.
For me, I would love it if the Canadian economy out performed the USA IN 2018 but so far, that’s not likely.
Gronda, I just saw a news feed that says that Canada’s Bombardier dodged a 300% tariff bullet today when the US Trade Commission ruled 4-0 against Boeing’s claims. Everyone up here is happily numb and shocked.
To put things in perspective, Canadians and Americans are family – nothing will change that – especially not Trump. Once Trump is dispatched to the political graveyard, Can/Am relations will be repaired and renewed.
Some US observers say that Trump would have a struggle on his hands in Congress if he decided to dump NAFTA. There are a lot of GOP Senators who represent states that benefit from trade with Canada. We’ll just have to wait and see.
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Dear John Fioravanti,
Thank goodness the US Trade Commission came through for the sake of both our countries.
There are many Americans who strongly disagree with the president and his republican sycophants even thinking about walking away from NAFTA.
It is unfortunate that President Trump campaigned to tear up the NAFTA when he was running to become president.
Those working Joe folks who voted for him have been blaming NAFTA for their loss of jobs and stagnant wages. In some instances this may even be true. But what happened is the president failed to explain was how many more Americans benefit from this agreement.
One example of the president’s flawed thinking has to do with his plans to increase tariffs on solar panels made in China. In the US, hundreds of thousands of blue collar workers have good paying jobs installing solar panels. The US makes only 10% of the solar panels that are used. There isn’t the lead time to develop manufacturing to make more. So, if the USA places tariffs on solar panels, 100s of thousands men and women stand to lose their jobs.
The president is not known to be able to handle nuance and so we are all paying for his foolishness.
Gronda, great post and interesting comments. I have two thoughts. First, with bilateral thinking, Trump view Trudeau and Canada more as a competitor than a partner. Second, with Trump pulling out of the TPP and the agreement moving forward without the US, he is left outside the room. Not only is this unnerving, rather than acquiescence to a bilateral agreement, the Japanese PM suggested Trump reconsider the TPP.
If Trump backs out of NAFTA, nothing would stop Canada and Mexico from entering an agreement. If he backs out of Iran, there are seven other countries in the agreement. He is backing out of the Paris accord, but it continues. To be brutally frank, America cannot shrink to greatness.
On the BBC World News America the other night, an expert was asked if he was aware of any bilateral agreements in the works, and he could not name any. That may or may not be true, but it is interesting he could not name one.
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Who in their right mind would negotiate with President Trump’s administration after witnessing his recent negotiations. How many times have lawmakers left his offices thinking they had an agreement only to find out soon after, that he was reneging on whatever he had said.
He doesn’t make his decisions on having done his due diligence, research. He keeps acting on what his gut tells him. His gut is getting in his way.
Backing out of TPP (It could have been fixed to better protect folks who make less than $80,000 per yr.) was a dumb thing to do. Backing out of the 2015 Paris Climate Accord was a dumber thing to do. Backing out of NAFTA would be the dumbest thing the president could do.
The president is an illusion. He is far from the greatest negotiator possible. He’s horrible.
Gronda, negotiation requires trust and due diligence, neither of which are Trump’s strengths. There is a key part of the play “Hamilton,” when Aaron Burr laments not being in the room. Trump is taking himself and us out of more and more rooms. Keith
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I cannot even pretend to understand NAFTA, or even the TPP, I am not economically-inclined. But I do know that when NAFTA was first signed, US companies raped Canadian companies with frivolous lawsuits filed in US courts. The USA has always been a litiginous nation, while we in Canada prefer to find out-of-court solutions, and the US corporations took advantage of that. But those were the early years. Canada learned how to fight back, and one of those ways was to produce better quality goods than US companies would ever think to produce. We pay our workers better (not great, but better), and we try to keep our profit margins more reasonable. So when Destroyer (of) Trade says there is a trade imbalance he is right, because Canadians do not want inferior quality goods at unbearable prices. WHY WOULD WE? And American consumers want better quality goods at lower prices. WHY WOULDN’T THEY? But DT thinks we should want American goods just to please his rich corporate buddies? He has got to be crazy. As far as I am concerned the US can isolate themselves again, like in the old days. Then maybe we could keep our electric power and our water where it does us the most good. Not that I want average Americans to suffer, but I want to see those rich Americans having no one to afford their usurious profit rates. No buyers, poor sellers. That is what I call stupidity economics. And DT seems to like that.
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I think that it is important for our neighbors Canada and Mexico to not give in to the “bully-in-chief” when to comes to negotiating any trade agreements.
You are right to point out that one of the president’s negations techniques has been his resorting to lawsuits. He has filed about 4000 of them.
I am of the belief that good neighbors should act like good neighbors and not like a bully. If their is a concern, good neighbors work things out to have favorable outcome for all involved.
Dumpster Toilet wants no part of negotiating. He wants no part of working things out. It is his way or the highway, and he really doesn’t care which option we choose. Unless and unail the good people in America take away Deficit Trader’s toys and powers, things are only going to get worse, with less chance of ever making them better again.
If it was just Denier (of) Truth that would be one thing, but it is all his “psycho-phants” and their followers too. Nobody wants to live with bullies, and the backlash from what Designated Talespinner is doing won’t soon be forgotten. Systemic Destruction (of) Trade (Agreements) tells a tale that no one else wants to hear.
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