Canada sent a part time drama teacher and a second string journalist to the NAFTA table to negotiate Canada’s short to medium term economic future with its largest trading partner.
The result was a deal that was inevitable and predictable – incredibly badly mishandled by a part time drama teacher and a second string journalist. It was to be expected.
After months of Trump bashing, false bravado and a Santa Claus wishlist of conditions that were never going to be achievable in an adult, mature, pragmatic world, Trudeau and Freeland were sent home from Washington DC last week to moan, complain and commiserate with their sympathetic CBC and media (I don’t consider CBC legitimate media, BTW) sycophants.
With those two lightweight impediments safely out of the way, Trump, Robert Lighthizer and their team took the junior varsity Canadian contingent to school on negotiating and winning concessions.
To be fair, the US was going to gain ground on Canada – even if Canada would have sent reasonably competent negotiators. Facts are facts. Realities cannot be ignored.
Canada relies on the US for more than 20% of our economic output.
The US relies on Canada for less than 2% of its economic output.
Canada’s GDP growth rate as at July 2018 is 0.7%.
USA’s growth rate as at July 2018 is 4.2%. (6 times the Canadian rate)
Canada is increasing regulations and government interference in economic investment, both from Canadian and foreign sources. Bill C-69 which allows the Environment Minister a veto is a prime example.
The US is systematically deregulating under Trump. His promise that two (2) regulations will be eliminated for every new regulation implemented was incredibly conservative. In fact, in 2017 twenty two (22) deregulatory actions were issued for every one (1) new regulation.
Canada’s exports of oil and petroleum products has almost flatlined since 2010. Petroleum exports were $94 Billion in 2010. Petroleum exports were $97 Billion in 2017.
US exports of oil and petroleum products has more than doubled since 2010.
In 2015, the US was the 2nd ranked energy producer at 15%. Canada was the 6th ranked energy producer at 3%.
The US accounted for 97% of Canadian energy exports in 2017. NOT A TYPO. 97%. The source for most of this information is Natural Resources Canada Government of Canada, easily confirmed on the Internet.
Even worse for Canadians, NAFTA regulation Article 605 effectively gave control over the Canadian energy resources to the US. One of the immediate, long lasting results was that West Canada Select oil averaged $48.55 per barrel in August 2018 whereas West Texas Intermediate (equivalent) averaged $68.06 per barrel in August, 2018.
The Canadian discount to world market price is a staggering 30%, rounded off. This discount has been a historic reality.
I could add more fuel to the fire but any cogent, astute, thinking Canadian can see where this analysis is heading.
Canada is highly reliant on the US for our economic well-being – and our economic future, whether we like it or not. In fact, the more the Canadian government obstructs the expansion of distribution networks to facilitate an expanded international market for our products and our resources, the worse the crisis is becoming.
What the Canadian government, led by Trudeau and Freeland, proposed to the US in negotiations was ridiculous in the extreme.
A series of ‘Core Objectives’ was published by Chrystia Freeland on August 14, 2017, most of which were ‘dead in the water’ to any astute, savvy analyst.
The governing Liberals wanted to incorporate new gender based standards into an international trade agreement.
The governing Liberals wanted to incorporate new Environmental and Climate Change wording.
The self-same delusional Liberals wanted to add an ‘Indigenous Chapter’ into the revised NAFTA agreement.
The governing Liberals wanted to ensure the continuation of Supply Management policies.
There are almost ten more self-serving impossible demands that Trudeau and Freeland wanted to incorporate into a new international trade agreement with the US and Mexico.
It is obvious to any intelligent, practical observer that none of these fantasies would ever find their way into a new trade agreement – yet Trudeau’s government (with the complicit obtuse support of a fawning Canadian media) continued to press forward – with the anticipated disastrous consequences.
Trudeau and Freeland even threw more fuel on the fire by denigrating Trump, the success of the US economic transformation and totally misreading the effect of the actual election of Trump in 2016 (by a US electorate fed up with its own previous incompetent, globalist government championed by Obama).
While we will save the impact of changes in the new USMCA negotiated agreement for a future analysis, given that the US Congress must still provide its assent to the new agreement, the fact remains that Canadians should be grateful that the US did not punish the naive, globalist self-serving proselytizing Liberals with an even more one-sided punitive agreement.
Canada sent a team of incompetent ideologues to the negotiation table with the United States. Mexico was astute enough to recognize the economic danger that loomed on the horizon if a favourable deal with the ever-strengthening US economy was not accomplished quickly – posthaste. Resultantly, Mexico negotiated a bilateral deal with the US whereby its own national interests would be protected, Canada notwithstanding.
By comparison, an inept, short-sighted ‘post-national’ Trudeau sat on the sidelines, buoyed up by adoring sycophants, including the Canadian Main Stream Media, who collectively truly had, and have, no clue concerning the precarious position that Canada is currently in as a result of the gross negligence and mishandling of the engines of the Canadian economy.
The collective well-being and prosperity of Canada hangs in the balance and we are currently governed by a self-serving elite that neither knows, nor cares, about the damage that the governing Liberal Party is doing to our economic future.
Alarmingly, under the leadership of an equally naive and compromised Andrew Scheer, the political posturing of the Conservative Party of Canada may well have made a bad situation even worse. A stubborn commitment to Supply Management, already a millstone around the necks of almost all Canadians, would have almost certainly blown up any last chance that the USMCA (formerly NAFTA) deal would ever consummate for the benefit of Canada – and Canadians.
In hindsight, Canadians should consider ourselves lucky that the damage done was not even worse. Canada signed an 11th hour deal under extreme duress. Canada, and Canadians, are fortunate that Trump’s negotiating team did not impose even more conditions that would have penalized Canada over time.
The Liberals under Trudeau, and the Conservative Party of Canada under Scheer, have proven themselves to be incapable of governing Canada in a fiscally responsible and accountable manner. The NDP are so far removed from economic reality that the NDP does not even deserve a place in a discussion concerning fiscally responsible government.
While the CBC and the media sycophants are spinning this ineptly handled agreement of national importance as a ‘success’ for Trudeau and the Liberals, astute concerned Canadians of all backgrounds and financial circumstances are increasingly uneasy with the mounting evidence.
Canada is ‘out of step’ with current economic realities. The governing Liberals are practicing divisive identity politics inside Canada – and were shot down in flames at the USMCA negotiations when they attempted to impose these unsupportable, unsustainable globalist values on other sovereign nations.
Instead of learning from the error of their ways, I fully anticipate that the Liberals, the CPC and the fawning Canadian leftist media will ramp up their rhetoric – pushing Canada even further into a socialist landscape which cannot help but thrust Canada into a possible economic collapse.
Where, on the horizon, should Canadians look for a ray of hope?
I suggest that you look no further than Maxime Bernier and the People’s Party of Canada. Mr. Bernier was the ONLY Member of Parliament who had the courage and the conviction to bring the NAFTA issue to the table in the House of Commons with a reasoned, responsible and accountable solution – that would have served Canada well in the negotiations with the US.
All other Members of Parliament voted against the common sense solutions provided by Mr. Bernier that may well have improved Canada’s bargaining position – and thereby Canada’s economic well-being and future prospects for all Canadians.
Let that sink in while you contemplate your election options going forward into 2019.
Glen Walushka, ba, AICB