I wonder how many people are going to get upset by what they’re about to read. Keep in mind that editors write editorials and columns to stir people’s emotions and get them to e-mail either a supportive letter to the editor, or preferably, at least in my case (which I know sounds strange, but I get an odd satisfaction from it), an angry letter telling me how off base I am.
Back to my controversial point: Is it just me, or is Donald Trump doing exactly what he said he would do during his campaign for president? And if you agree that he is, isn’t it the weirdest thing to see an elected official do what they said they were going to do?
Take the softwood lumber issue. It certainly isn’t a good deal for Canada to have up to 24% duties put on lumber exports to the US. It hurts Canada’s lumber industry, and in turn, I can’t see it not having some kind of adverse effect on the trucking companies that haul timber, particularly in B.C. They may not be hit with the tariff directly, but if the companies they haul for have to slow production in any way because of the extra duties, then it goes without saying they will be indirectly affected by the duty.
During the campaign, Trump said he would do everything he could to bring American jobs back to the US and stop them from going overseas, to Mexico, or elsewhere – and it appears now Canada has become part of that offensive.
You can of course argue about the side-effects of Trump’s softwood lumber mandate – such as higher prices for lumber in the US resulting in increased housing costs – but there are many forestry and trucking companies down south applauding the new tariffs, saying the move will help their businesses.
US dairy farmers said the same when Trump cried foul over the rules surrounding Canada’s dairy system.
Say what you will about the manner in which Trump goes about getting things done, and some of the things he has said, but the US and Canada have had disagreements over lumber and dairy for many years. Former president Obama (and many before him) voiced those concerns on more than one occasion. But the fact remains, Trump is the only president who has actually followed through with those concerns.
People frequently complain that politicians make these threats but never follow through on them, or they say they will do something during a campaign just to get elected then renege on their promises. Trump, at least on the jobs front, does not seem to be that president.
In Canada (and half of the US), most of us will continue to criticize Trump and his administration, and will do so for many reasons, some personal, moral, political, and others simply because his policies are not good for Canada.
But how many people in Canada would just like to have their political leaders fight as hard for them as many in the US believe Trump is fighting for them?
Some of the largest US exports to Canada include automotive parts and accessories, computers, and agricultural products. I’m no trade expert, and I know it’s juvenile to slap tariffs on the US just because they did it to us, but I wonder if those who work in the vehicle, technical, or agriculture industries would benefit from a Canada-first attitude. We live our lives with a family-first approach, why not country-first?
Or, maybe history will prove Trump’s tactics will only alienate our neighbors to the south.
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