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Trump’s beggar-thy-neighbour trade strategy is anything but foolish - The Globe and Mail
CHRISTIAN LEUPRECHT AND ROGER BRADBURY
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL.

The U.S. administration’s tariffs are actually perfectly rational – from Mr. Trump’s perspective (i.e. his worldview).

The extent of the punitive tariffs Mr. Trump is imposing is unprecedented. They threaten to bring down the system of global trade – Bretton Woods' meticulously calibrated, multilateral system of rules has 164 member-states and comprises tens of thousands of products--by design.

World Trade Organization (WTO) tribunals – which are about to grind to a halt because the United States has not named a judge to the seven-member Appellate Body – were meant to ensure that everyone sticks to the rules....
The President is now intent on destroying co-operation within the WTO by driving wedges between the world’s trading blocs and countries. The United States would be in a much stronger position if it could negotiate with each trade bloc directly. ....Mr. Trump’s recent musings about replacing NAFTA with two separate trade agreements with Canada and Mexico are further evidence to that effect. Canada risks selling out the WTO by making concessions to the United States.

China, too, is negotiating bilaterally with the United States and is already caving to American demands. In the end, the large trading blocs are likely to divide up the world among themselves; countries with little leverage, such as Canada, could become collateral damage......Where once the goal of the United States was to rise to global hegemony, today its goal is to maintain that dominance.

So, that same rules-based system is now causing competitors.... Under these conditions, it is no longer in the interest of the United States to co-operate; as the global political and economic hegemon, the United States can win a strategic competition for wealth and power. Everyone ends up poorer, but the United States remains top dog because everyone else grows poorer faster than the United States. Beggar thy neighbour. Literally.

But being frank will not sit well with Canadians; painting Mr. Trump as a crazy buffoon is more politically expedient. So, along with the EU and China, Canada falls right into Mr. Trump’s bilateral trade-negotiation trap. R.I.P. WTO. Score: Trump 1; Canada 0.
beggar-thy-neighbour  bilateral  Canada  Canadian  China  crossborder  NAFTA  Donald_Trump  EU  international_system  international_trade  Justin_Trudeau  middle-powers  multilateralism  negotiations  punitive  rules-based  tariffs  WTO  worldviews  mercantilism  zero-sum 
14 days ago by jerryking
Donald Trump is not actually speaking English - Random Thoughts on TrumpSpeak, Part 1
His brain is basically a computer program that tries to say "I am the best!" using a huge range of word combinations. For any given statement, the words have no meaning to him...they are just chosen because his brain has determined, in that instant, that this particular combination of words is the best method to express his awesomeness to his particular audience.

THERE IS NOTHING BEHIND THE CURTAIN.

You can sometimes glean information from his quotes, since they are useful indicators of what Trump believes to represent awesomeness at a given time, but it is a mistake to treat his words as normal human communications.
donald_trump  politics  usa 
15 days ago by paniedejmirade
Globe editorial: Answering the bully in the White House - The Globe and Mail
Since reasoning with the President is off the table, the only options for Canada are to stand firm as long as possible in terms of retaliation, to continue to negotiate with state governors and Congress members whose economic interests align with ours, and to make hay of the fact that the U.S. is a less stable and safe place to invest when it is led by a President who changes the rules every week.
bullying  Canada  Canadian  crossborder  Donald_Trump  editorials  tariffs  White_House  aligned_interests 
16 days ago by jerryking
NAFTA is dead and Canada should move on
June 2, 2018 | The Globe and Mail | by PETER DONOLO.

So what is our Plan B?

It obviously means seriously and aggressively pursuing markets and investment beyond the U.S. For example, new markets for Canadian resources are now more important than ever. That’s why the government’s decision this week to effectively nationalize the Trans Mountain Pipeline in order to finally get it built and deliver oil to Asia-bound tankers was such an important step. This decision in itself was a significant response to an unreliable American partner, and a signal that we must look farther abroad for greater economic opportunity.

The same goes for the myriad of trade agreements on which our country has embarked – most prominently the Canada-EU trade agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The GATT and WTO breakthroughs of the 1990s also work in Canada’s favour, providing us with tariffs much lower than existed before NAFTA and the original Canada-U.S. free-trade agreement. If NAFTA were to cease tomorrow, our trade with the U.S. would still operate under the WTO’s rules.

Finally, we need to redouble efforts to attract direct foreign investment into Canada. The government recently launched a new agency, Invest in Canada, to do just that. But there are obstacles. The Business Council of Canada cites the regulatory burden as the biggest challenge. In a globalized economy, tax competitiveness is always an issue. And governments need to walk the walk when it comes to opening up to investors from countries such as China, even when there is domestic political blowback.

The only negotiating stance that works against Donald Trump is the ability and willingness to walk away. Mr. Trump sniffs out weakness or desperation – in a friend or a foe – and he pounces without mercy. A defensive crouch is the wrong position. “Sauve qui peut” is the wrong rallying cry. Negotiating with strength, from strength, is the only approach.
beyondtheU.S.  automotive_industry  crossborder  Donald_Trump  FDI  Nafta  negotiations  Plan_B  oil_industry  protectionism  tariffs  TPP  Trans_Mountain_Pipeline  pipelines 
16 days ago by jerryking
Mid-sized powers must unite to preserve the world order
Gideon Rachman

New times call for new thinking.....the world’s middle powers, Germany, France, Japan and Britain, have a dilemma: America and China are increasingly tempted to break free of the constraints of international agreements and to use their power to achieve their goals, unilaterally. Russia lacks the economic might of a great power. But it has the territorial expanse and the nuclear arsenal, and has made a mighty contribution to an atmosphere of growing international lawlessness.

The middle powers cannot flex their muscles like great powers. But they are international players, with global economic and security interests. They need a world with rules. ...What could the middle powers actually do, other than give each other consoling hugs? They should start by noting the similarity of their positions and concerns. For decades, the six middle powers have organised their international positions around two pillars: a strong relationship with the US and membership of a powerful regional grouping, such as the EU, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation or the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Donald Trump era has upended their assumptions. Whatever the Europeans, Australians, Japanese and Canadians say publicly, they are all dismayed by the current direction of the US. The protectionism of the Trump administration is a direct threat to their economic interests. (The US is likely to press ahead with steel tariffs on the EU on June 1.) The US’s current unpredictability and incipient isolationism also poses questions about the robustness of its security guarantees to its allies.

With US leadership increasingly erratic, the middle powers should do more to co-ordinate their positions and lobby on the big global issues: trade, climate change, arms control and peace efforts in the Middle East and Asia.
APEC  EU  international_system  lawlessness  middle-powers  NAFTA  rules_of_the_game  rules-based  Donald_Trump 
20 days ago by jerryking
'Roseanne' Reboot Wraps A Bait-And-Switch First Season : Monkey See : NPR
Mostly, I never bought the Roseanne-as-a-Trumper twist because a core theme of the original show was the family's contempt for hypocrisy, especially when it came to people with money looking down at those with less. Roseanne once delighted in tormenting every awful boss and highfalutin yuppie she came across, and it's tough to believe she would suddenly disregard similar behavior in a guy she was voting to elect president.

It's true there are likely real-life voters out there with similar thoughts on race, gender and class, who voted for Trump, anyway. But this turn surprised me because I always thought Roseanne understood the "okeydoke." In my neighborhood, we reserved that title for only the most brazen con or trick. And the okeydoke that classic Roseanne understood, with painful clarity, was how power brokers used race and culture wars to keep working-class people of all ethnicities divided against each other.
race  okeydoke  Donald_Trump  TV  class 
25 days ago by bdwc

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