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THOMPSON: Who knew Trump had the power to unify Conservatives and Liberals in Canada?

June 25, 2018 - 12:00 PM

 


OPINION


You didn’t hear ambulance sirens during the recent G7 Summit in Charlevoix. That’s because Donald Trump only figuratively threw other world leaders under the bus. Good thing…Charlevoix Hospital’s emergency room can only handle about five patients at a time.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fared worse than most…as Trump backed up and ran over him a couple of times. By the way, for my American readers or those who have been in an extended coma, Pierre Trudeau is not Canada’s Prime Minister…he is seriously dead and has been for nearly 18 years. On two occasions in the past few weeks - once on Fox and once on CNN - news analysts miraculously brought Pierre back to life.

Of course, Trump started revving the bus even before he arrived in Canada for the summit…suggesting that old friend Vlad Putin and Russia be invited back in…making it the G8 again. Actually, the current group is - at best - the G6 + 1.

As Trump put it to reporters at the White House the day before leaving for Canada, “This used to be the G8, not the G7. Something happened a while ago where Russia is no longer in.”

Let me clarify, Mr. President…that “something” was Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and “a while ago” was 2014. Despite Trump’s attempt to diminish Russia’s act of hostility and violation of international law, only those less literate than Trump himself might buy in to his let-bygones-be-bygones re-admission of Russia.

Who knew that Trump had the power to unify Conservatives and Liberals in Canada? Now, members in both parties think he’s an idiot. You see, in true Trump fashion, he developed and implemented what former-president George W. Bush would call “strategery”...pure and simple.

Trump decided a few months ago that a 10 percent tariff on aluminum and a 25 percent tariff on steel made sense. And, then, of course, he started lying to support that decision. It’s all part of his “strategery” to punish China, he says. Pay attention because the logic gets a little fuzzy here.

Never mind that China exports less steel to the United States than six other countries…four of them - Japan, Canada, Germany and South Korea - are among our closest allies. Trump has mostly kind words for leaders of Russia, Turkey, the Philippines and North Korea…nations with abhorrent leaders and few shared values.

Trump saves his harshest criticisms for nations that historically have all stood together…you know...allies. But, back to Trump’s lies. After insulting every other leader at the G7 summit in Charlevoix…where he arrived late, missed lunch and left early…he refused to be a signatory to the joint communique.

On the way out the door, Trump couldn’t resist a bully’s parting shot, calling Prime Minister Trudeau “dishonest” and “amateurish” and “weak”…among other insults. Trump then released his minions during Sunday’s network and cable news shows…where Trudeau was called a “backstabber” who deserved “a special place in hell.” Really?

Well, Mr. Trump, most Canadians will remain nice and polite, even in the face of your toddler-style tantrums and lies…because that is the character of Canadians. I, however, am not that nice…and so I will call you the ass that most Canadians believe you to be. Why? Because you are crude, not particularly bright and you are a liar…a world-class champion liar.

Despite Trump’s misleading tweets and outright lies…the U.S. doesn’t have a trade deficit with Canada of “$100 Billion” as he claimed. Indeed, the U.S. has a trade surplus of nearly US$8.5 Billion.

Trump’s accusation that Canada and other G7 allies have imposed “unacceptable” tariffs is a bit of a lie, too. He cherry-picks the 270 percent average tariffs on milk, dairy and poultry as examples of Canada’s outrageous, anti-American behaviour.

But the truth is Canada’s supply-management system sets domestic production quotas to keep prices stable and guarantee dairy and poultry farmers steady incomes. The high tariff makes that possible…even in a global economy. Sure, Canada’s supply-management system could use a more even hand, but that’s perhaps a topic for another column.

The truth is that Canada’s average tariff on all American goods and services is just 0.8 percent, according to the World Bank…half that of Great Britain, Germany and France. Yes, that smell is Trump’s pants on fire.

Well, Mr. President, keep those tariffs in place on aluminum and steel…which will hurt more Americans than Canadians anyway…and on July 1 Canada will impose tariffs on US$16.6 Billion worth of goods and services — equivalent to the 2017 value of Canadian steel and aluminum exports hit by the American tariffs.

My dad always told me that you don’t try to make nice with a bully…you kick his ass.

That is my advice to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau…kick Donald Trump’s ass. And retaliatory tariffs is just that ass kicking he needs. And how appropriate that it starts on Canada Day. Where will it end? Well, to parrot one of Trump’s favourite lines, “We’ll see.”

— Don Thompson, an American awaiting Canadian citizenship, lives in Vernon and in Florida. In a career that spans more than 40 years, Don has been a working journalist, a speechwriter and the CEO of an advertising and public relations firm. A passionate and compassionate man, he loves the written word as much as fine dinners with great wines. His essays are a blend of news reporting and opinion.


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