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Should Canada play the long game with Trump?


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2 minutes ago, paxrom said:

LOLS that's what the US has been doing since the marshal plan. That's why we're immune  to such things. 

The US does not practice unilateral free trade except towards a few developing economies. All of the US' free trade with other developed economies is agreement-based, not unilateral. And even then, it's quite protectionist especially in the agricultural sector when it comes to subsidies for example. If you're comparing the US to Canada, then yes, the US (Trump and his supporters excepted) has embraced free trade far more than Canada has and Canada could learn from them. Trump could learn even more from them.

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2 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

Canada has another layer to the issue that goes beyond international trade barriers...provincial barriers are just as bad, and then there is Quebec.

Agreed. The greatest trade barrier between Ontario and Quebec is the language barrier.

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2 minutes ago, Machjo said:

Agreed. The greatest trade barrier between Ontario and Quebec is the language barrier.

I'm not well studied on this topic but shouldn't the people in quebec studying english in the primary school and be at least fluent? Or are they being too french about it again?

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3 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

Well, regardless of the merits for unilateral trade, it is progress just to have some in Canada (and the U.S.) begin to think outside the boxes of the past.

Yesss, we are resolving world issues with the canadians once again. 

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1 minute ago, paxrom said:

I'm not well studied on this topic but shouldn't the people in quebec studying english in the primary school and be at least fluent? Or are they being too french about it again?

English is not an easy language to learn. According to one OECD study, English orthography takes around three times as much time to learn as Finnish, German, or Greek orthography and it takes from five to ten times as much time to learn English as it does the equivalent amount of Esperanto. English grammar also tends to be more ambiguous than French or Esperanto grammar.

According to various studies, only around 6% in Germany and 4% in India actually learn English well enough for it to be of any practical use to them. In Quebec, you can find people who aren't functional in English even in the outskirts of Gatineau which is practically right next to Ottawa.

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1 minute ago, paxrom said:

Yesss, we are resolving world issues with the canadians once again. 

Unfortunately Canada has too many vested interests in the agricultural and telecommunications and transportation cartels. However, Trump's strong-arm tactics are only going to make matters worse.

One thing I'd considered was what would happen if a PTSAR (Party for a Toronto Special Administrative Region) rose up at the Federal level proposing that Quebec become a Free Economic Zone economically and a Special Administrative Region politically freed from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms but with the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights entrenched into its Basic Law similarly to how Hong Kong is run as a quasi-sovereign region of China. Toronto would become a quasi-sovereign region of Canada free to adopt unilateral free trade with the world. Canada would still want to sell Toronto its food and while the US might still maintain some protectionism, it might be wiling to unilaterally at least lower its tariffs against TSAR in voluntary reciprocity. This could benefit Toronto SAR. Maybe Montreal, Vancouver, and Richmond would establish their own parties too. Imagine if in the next Federal election, the Party for a Toronto Special Administrative Region (TSAR) ran a candidate in each Toronto riding and a similar party ran candidates across Montreal and another in Vancouver and another in Richmond. These parties' MPs would soon become allies in Parliament and could hold at least some economic clout.

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1 minute ago, Machjo said:

Unfortunately Canada has too many vested interests in the agricultural and telecommunications and transportation cartels. However, Trump's strong-arm tactics are only going to make matters worse.

One thing I'd considered was what would happen if a PTSAR (Party for a Toronto Special Administrative Region) rose up at the Federal level proposing that Quebec become a Free Economic Zone economically and a Special Administrative Region politically freed from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms but with the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights entrenched into its Basic Law similarly to how Hong Kong is run as a quasi-sovereign region of China. Toronto would become a quasi-sovereign region of Canada free to adopt unilateral free trade with the world. Canada would still want to sell Toronto its food and while the US might still maintain some protectionism, it might be wiling to unilaterally at least lower its tariffs against TSAR in voluntary reciprocity. This could benefit Toronto SAR. Maybe Montreal, Vancouver, and Richmond would establish their own parties too. Imagine if in the next Federal election, the Party for a Toronto Special Administrative Region (TSAR) ran a candidate in each Toronto riding and a similar party ran candidates across Montreal and another in Vancouver and another in Richmond. These parties' MPs would soon become allies in Parliament and could hold at least some economic clout.

Sounds like the secessionist we have in the state with calexit and texit so on and so fourth... not gona happen. 

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Just now, paxrom said:

Sounds like the secessionist we have in the state with calexit and texit so on and so fourth... not gona happen. 

Correct me if wrong, but I thought they were talking about outright separating from the US. I'm thinking more of a movement to designate Toronto a Special administrative Region politically and a Free Economic Zone economically. If that's too extreme, then maybe a Party for a Toronto Free Economic Zone (PTFEZ) that would enjoy unilateral free trade with the world but still politically integrated into the rest of Canada. Even a Toronto SAR though would still be a part of Canada similarly to how Hong Kong is still a part of China, just a quasi-sovereign region thereof.

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As for it happening, it wouldn't matter. If Torontonians and Vancouverites started to elect these candidates to Parliament, they'd send a message of discontent with the more protectionist rural Canada as a political pressure tactic. After all, urbanites can only stand to gain from agricultural free trade. Agricultural protectionism hurts Canada's urbanites.

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Yess agreed. I don't think what has been said here haven't been already discussed and resolve through the state department and whatever the canadian version would be during negotiation. I think there is something else in the fine details of this trade agreement that they were stumbling over, some sticking point like you have pointed out with the agriculture and communications cartel . 

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27 minutes ago, paxrom said:

Yess agreed. I don't think what has been said here haven't been already discussed and resolve through the state department and whatever the canadian version would be during negotiation. I think there is something else in the fine details of this trade agreement that they were stumbling over, some sticking point like you have pointed out with the agriculture and communications cartel . 

US citizens face the same problem in agriculture. I don't eat much meat, so why should my taxes be subsidizing other people's meat consumption through agricultural subsidies? Canada subsidizes food like crazy and so does the US. Now, if Canada were smart about this, we'd exploit the US' foolishness on the matter. In other words, we'd stop subsidizing our own agriculture, drop tariffs on US products, and let the US taxpayer subsidize our food. You wouldn't mind subsidizing my food now would you paxrom? Come on, be a sport.

 

I can't imagine that many Americans appreciate this either. For example, if you work in the service industry in the city, what do you think of paying taxes to subsidize a farmer in the country when he doesn't reciprocate to subsidize your business? I could even see such a political party rising up in NYC, Seattle, and other major US cities asking for SAR or at least FEZ status to get away from these trade wars.

If Toronto became an SAR and unilaterally dropped all tariffs and subsidies, then the rest of Canada and the US could duke it out all they wanted since TSAR could then just negotiate its own trade agreements independently of the rest of Canada as a quasi-sovereign region. I'm sure many New Yorkers are also ticked at Trump starting trade wars with the world and they too would like to bow out of it and become an SARs themselves.

Edited by Machjo
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11 minutes ago, Machjo said:

US citizens face the same problem in agriculture. I don't eat much meat, so why should my taxes be subsidizing other people's meat consumption through agricultural subsidies? Canada subsidizes food like crazy and so does the US. Now, if Canada were smart about this, we'd exploit the US' foolishness on the matter. In other words, we'd stop subsidizing our own agriculture, drop tariffs on US products, and let the US taxpayer subsidize our food. You wouldn't mind subsidizing my food now would you paxrom? Come on, be a sport.

 

I can't imagine that many Americans appreciate this either. For example, if you work in the service industry in the city, what do you think of paying taxes to subsidize a farmer in the country when he doesn't reciprocate to subsidize your business? I could even see such a political party rising up in NYC, Seattle, and other major US cities asking for SAR or at least FEZ status to get away from these trade wars.

If Toronto became an SAR and unilaterally dropped all tariffs and subsidies, then the rest of Canada and the US could duke it out all they wanted since TSAR could then just negotiate its own trade agreements independently of the rest of Canada as a quasi-administrative region. I'm sure many New Yorkers are also ticked at Trump starting trade wars with the world and they too would like to bow out of it and become an SAR themselves.

We don't really have this issue here in the states actually, most of our agriculture is ran by major corporations and yes they do lobby but at the end of the day they are only one entity. subsidize free trade eh? don't mind if I do

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17 minutes ago, Machjo said:

...I can't imagine that many Americans appreciate this either. For example, if you work in the service industry in the city, what do you think of paying taxes to subsidize a farmer in the country when he doesn't reciprocate to subsidize your business? I could even see such a political party rising up in NYC, Seattle, and other major US cities asking for SAR or at least FEZ status to get away from these trade wars.

 

It's not that simple in the U.S. for agricultural subsidies.   Many urban and suburban families (i.e. women and children) receive federal and state welfare benefits that guarantee access to basic food commodities like dairy and poultry.  The USDA runs several programs that cause excess production.

Edited by bush_cheney2004
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2 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

It's not that simple in the U.S. for agricultural subsidies.   Many urban and suburban families (i.e. women and children) receive federal and state welfare benefits that guarantee access to basic food commodities like dairy and poultry.  The USDA runs several programs that cause excess production.

So with that, putting emotions and politics aside, it would make sense for Canada to unilaterally drop all agricultural subsidies and tariffs and let Canadians buy food that the US taxpayer subsidizes. I know it would be politically a tough sell because not everyone is an economist and Canadian farmers, used to living under protectionism, would be hard hit but would adapt by retraining for other industries quite simply. If the US wants to subsidize the food I buy, who am I to complain about that as a consumer?

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3 minutes ago, Machjo said:

So with that, putting emotions and politics aside, it would make sense for Canada to unilaterally drop all agricultural subsidies and tariffs and let Canadians buy food that the US taxpayer subsidizes. I know it would be politically a tough sell because not everyone is an economist and Canadian farmers, used to living under protectionism, would be hard hit but would adapt by retraining for other industries quite simply. If the US wants to subsidize the food I buy, who am I to complain about that as a consumer?

 

Again...not so simple.   Canadian consumers and provinces claim that U.S. dairy is polluted with hormones and GMOs, making it cheaper but less desired.

Ironically, Japan busted Canada/Alberta for GMO wheat exports...stopping contracts.

Edited by bush_cheney2004
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Just now, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

Again...not so simple.   Canadian consumers and provinces claim that U.S. dairy is polluted with hormones and GMOs, making it cheaper but less desired.

Ironically, Japan busted Canada/Albert for GMO wheat exports...stopping contracts.

That's a separate matter. Of course we should block Canadian access to any foreign product that does not meet the standards expected for domestic products. That goes without saying for US animal products and byproducts. As for US grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts and such, I'm not aware of them failing to meet Canadian standards. If they fail to meet them, then yes we block their entry. But if they meet the standard, then we should just let them in.

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Just now, Machjo said:

That's a separate matter. Of course we should block Canadian access to any foreign product that does not meet the standards expected for domestic products. That goes without saying for US animal products and byproducts. As for US grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts and such, I'm not aware of them failing to meet Canadian standards. If they fail to meet them, then yes we block their entry. But if they meet the standard, then we should just let them in.

 

OK, but that would only start/repeat the path to non-tariff trade barriers.   There is no free lunch.

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Just now, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

OK, but that would only start/repeat the path to non-tariff trade barriers.   There is no free lunch.

I make a distinction between intentional and unintentional barriers. Blocking a foreign product because it doesn't meet the same standard expected of locally produced products is not an intentional trade barrier. For example, Hong Kong blocks the importation of heroin not because it's trying to protect the domestic heroin industry but rather because heroin is just banned in Hong Kong. The same applies here. If Canada doesn't allow Canadian milk producers to sell antibiotic-ridden milk products, then why would it allow foreign producers to meet a lower standard? That is not an intentional trade barrier motivated by protectionism. That's just a matter of imposing on foreign products the same standards that domestic products must meet.

 

We can look at Hong Kong's tariffs on alcohol, tobacco, and fuel for public-policy reasons related to public health and pollution. Of course Canada could reasonably expect a Canadian tobacco distribute to pay the same tax whether he sells US or Canadian or any other tobacco. As long as the law makes no distinction between a domestic or foreign product, then we can't count that as an intentional barrier.

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And maybe that would be one advantage of unilateral free trade. Canada could impose the same standards on foreign products as it expects on Canadian products but adopt unilateral free trade otherwise. If other countries don't like that, then they'd be free to raise tariffs all they want and Canada would not retaliate. They could even launch a trade war and Canada wouldn't retaliate. That said, if US dairy wants to sell into Canada, it could set up some kind of certification and labeling system for US milk products that meet the Canadian standard that Canada would allow into Canada visa-free.

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2 minutes ago, Machjo said:

 ...That is not an intentional trade barrier motivated by protectionism. That's just a matter of imposing on foreign products the same standards that domestic products must meet.

 

Regardless, it would still be interpreted and countered with like minded barriers.   

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Just now, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

Regardless, it would still be interpreted and countered with like minded barriers.   

Again, that would be the beauty of unilateral free trade. Canada would simply impose the same standards on foreign products that it does on Canadian ones. Beyond that, it would adopt unilateral free trade and let other countries raise their own trade barriers all they want but Canada wouldn't reciprocate.

 

Honestly, I think Canada was wrong in imposing import tariffs on US steel, orange juice, etc. just as a retaliatory move. It was an emotional reaction. Yes, Trump is an idiot and he has to take some blame for that too. But Trudeau didn't need to aggravate matters. Just let Trump act the fool and Canada should have looked out for the best interests of Canadian consumers and that unilateral free trade and not engaging in trade wars. Let the US raise tariffs all it wants. The market would adapt on its own.

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I would add that Canada has other trade barrier gifts that keep on giving, like fees for crossing the border for consumer goods, crazy low duty free levels compared to the U.S., much higher sales taxes, to the point where some Canadians will cross the border to set up post boxes on the U.S. side.

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7 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

Except that Trudeau and Morneau imposed duty on U.S. made gypsum board before Trump ever became president.  

Countervailing duties and tariffs are the existing tools in the trade toolbox until something better comes along.  

 

I understand why Trudeau imposed those tariffs, but i disagree with them too. The US was subsidizing it so Canada countered with tariffs. If Canadian politicians had the slightest understanding of economics, they'd welcome Americans subsidizing the products we consumer as Canadians. Again, if you're foolish enough to subsidize our gypsum with your taxes, we should be thanking you for it, not raising tariffs against you for it.

 

If that gypsom wasn't meeting some safety standard or other, that would have been a different matter. But then it wouldn't have been about countervailing duties but an outright ban. That wasn't the case though. Canada was just angry it was being subsidized and failed to see we could use it to our advantage.

 

Seriously, if another country wants to dump a product onto the Canadian market, as long as it meets Canadian health and safety standards, we should welcome it.

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