Author Topic: How will USA respond to Canada's terrible NAFTA demands? (split fm CF-188 Replacement)  (Read 16017 times)

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Offline AlexanderM

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Offline jmt18325

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The end to RTW in the US would be a massive equalizer for Canada in terms of labour competitiveness. 

Offline Ostrozac

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The end to RTW in the US would be a massive equalizer for Canada in terms of labour competitiveness.

And very unlikely to happen. A US Federal law banning RTW would be heavily fought by the states that have already enacted such laws. Besides, nobody's going to waste their limited political capital until the US Supreme Court decision on Janus v AFSCME -- a ruling which is expected in 2018, and which is likely to go on the side of RTW. Such a ruling is probably expected by all involved -- the ruling would give the US a chance to say "sorry Canada, we'd love to help you on that NAFTA proposal, but the judges say it's against our constitution, and our hands are tied".

At this point, it's probably more likely that the RTW trend becomes stronger with the new version of NAFTA, and labour unions continue to weaken in all three nations.

Offline Thucydides

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How will USA respond to Canada's terrible NAFTA demands?!

Much like any card shark once they realize your are trying to bluff them with a pair of duces.....
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Offline GAP

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Ending the RTW laws would a massive gift to the unions
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Offline YZT580

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We are expending precious political capital in trying to dictate to another sovereign nation what laws they will apply internally.  Harper was absolutely correct.  NAFTA is not a tool for effecting social change and it is naive and short-sighted of Trudeau to approach it in this manner.

Offline Retired AF Guy

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We are expending precious political capital in trying to dictate to another sovereign nation what laws they will apply internally.  Harper was absolutely correct.  NAFTA is not a tool for effecting social change and it is naive and short-sighted of Trudeau to approach it in this manner.

You are absolutely right and its interesting that when Trudeau and the Liberals first proposed their ideas commentators over at the National Post where wondering if it was Trudeau who was trying to scuttle NAFTA.
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Offline Altair

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The US congress has to approve the repeal of NAFTA.

I don't see that happening.

So if these NAFTA talks fail,  and it appears that the Mexicans,  Canadians and Americans want that at this point,  then the US congress would need to kill the deal.

On the off chance that happens,  wouldn't the Canada US free trade deal,  suspended when NAFTA was ratified,  then just come back into effect?

I don't really blame Canada here,  this is simply Trump wanting to try to kill the deal that he campaigned against when running for president.

Look at the American demands,  they are as ridiculous and outrageous as the Canadian ones.

The Americans want to do away with 3rd party conflict resolution. They want a a sunset clause in the deal so that every country needs to go through this every 5 years.

The only way to save NAFTA is for the US congress to exercise a bit of common sense.
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Offline PuckChaser

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The US demands aren't outrageous, they're just horribly one-sided and designed to play hardball. They know they won't get them, which is why they're starting at an extreme and working to compromise. What happens in the Trudeau team decides to trade 3rd party resolution for an unenforceable women's rights clause? Or some other garbage social justice line that shouldn't be anywhere near a trade agreement?

Trying to change another country's social policies through a trade agreement is the mostly asinine thing I've ever heard of, and makes a mockery of the negotiation process.

Offline Altair

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The US demands aren't outrageous, they're just horribly one-sided and designed to play hardball. They know they won't get them, which is why they're starting at an extreme and working to compromise. What happens in the Trudeau team decides to trade 3rd party resolution for an unenforceable women's rights clause? Or some other garbage social justice line that shouldn't be anywhere near a trade agreement?

Trying to change another country's social policies through a trade agreement is the mostly asinine thing I've ever heard of, and makes a mockery of the negotiation process.
  Everything I've read about the negotiations seem to show that the Americans are going a little further than playing hardball,  it seems that they are springing unrealistic and one sided demand after another.

From what I gather they aren't serious about getting a deal done anymore than the Mexican delegation or the Canadian one.

As far as I can tell,  Trump wants NAFTA to die,  he campaigned on it,  this "renegotiation " is how he plans to kill it and congress is the only one who can save it.
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Offline PuckChaser

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We have a better chance of getting a deal done if we ditch Mexico. A lot of the sticking points are going to be because of the abysmal wages there, which drive manufacturing south (Ontario's issue is high wages and extreme hydro rates, driving jobs to the US). You'd see a lot of the country of origin stuff disappear if Mexico wasn't part of the equation.

Offline MCG

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On the off chance that happens,  wouldn't the Canada US free trade deal,  suspended when NAFTA was ratified,  then just come back into effect?
I understand that it was legislated into suspension and would have to be legislated out of suspension.  What are the chances that a US that is willing to let NAFTA die would be a US ready to unsuspend our previous agreement?

Offline AlexanderM

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I'm just providing updates on Trade issues as, from a political point of view, they may impact whom we do business with in the future.


http://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/canada-convinced-donald-trump-will-soon-pull-the-plug-on-nafta-sources

LONDON, Ontario — Canada is increasingly convinced that U.S. President Donald Trump will soon announce that the United States intends to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, two government sources said on Wednesday.

The sources said they expected Trump would make his move at about the same time that negotiators from the United States, Canada and Mexico meet in late January for the sixth and penultimate round of talks to modernize the treaty.

The Canadian and Mexican currencies both weakened against the U.S. dollar after the news.

The Canadian dollar fell 0.9 per cent to $1.2574 against the greenback at 3:05 p.m. in Toronto. The peso fell 0.8 per cent to 19.3963 per dollar. The rate on Canada’s two-year government bonds declined 8 basis points to 1.71 per cent. The yield on 10-year debt was down six basis points to 2.14 per cent, with the rate on similar-maturity U.S. Treasuries little changed.

A White House official, speaking on background, said there hasn’t been any change in the president’s position on NAFTA.

Also:

http://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/newsalert-canada-launches-global-trade-complaint-vs-u-s-over-use-of-duties

And just in case anyone missed this.

http://business.financialpost.com/transportation/u-s-upholds-nearly-300-per-cent-tariffs-on-bombardiers-cseries
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 16:35:44 by AlexanderM »

Offline Altair

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Canada strike back

This is going to be fun.

'Canada has just detonated a bomb': Trade relations with U.S. plummet after WTO complaint: http://nationalpost.com/news/economy/u-s-lashes-out-over-ottawas-wto-trade-claim-just-after-higher-tariffs-announced-for-canadian-newsprint-producrs/wcm/357fcb44-d9b9-47a7-94d9-80398165cb8b

Quote
Canada launched the opening salvo in a trade war with the United States Wednesday, lodging an international complaint about the superpower’s use of punitive duties.

The move drew a sharp rebuke from Donald Trump’s trade czar and came amid reports that Canadian government officials say there’s an increasing likelihood the president will withdraw from the three-nation North American Free Trade Association.

“Even if Canada succeeded on these groundless claims, other countries would primarily benefit, not Canada. Canada’s complaint is bad for Canada,” said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

“Canada’s claims are unfounded and could only lower U.S. confidence that Canada is committed to mutually beneficial trade.”

Canada lodged a World Trade Organization complaint accusing the U.S. of regularly breaching international trade laws through various countervailing and anti-dumping duties, citing nearly 200 examples spanning several decades.

In a statement, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said, “This WTO action is part of our broader litigation to defend the hundreds of thousands of good, middle class forestry jobs across our country.”

Rationale
Canada cited five reasons for the complaint, saying the U.S. levies penalties beyond what’s allowed by the WTO, improperly calculates rates, unfairly declares penalties retroactive, limits evidence from outside parties, and has a tilted voting system in domestic trade panels that, in the case of a 3-3 tie, awards the win to American companies.

The complaint marks Canada’s most exhaustive attempt yet to counter recent import duties imposed by the U.S., particularly on Canadian softwood lumber products.

“It’s (saying), ‘The entire way in which the U.S. — you — are conducting your anti-dumping, countervailing procedures, is wrong,”’ said Chad Bown, a trade expert at Washington’s Peterson Institute. “This is effectively Canada bringing a dispute on behalf of all exporters in the world — the Europeans, Japan, China — because they’re making a systemic challenge.”

Edward Alden of the Council on Foreign Relations called it a precarious moment for NAFTA and the global trading system, both of which are under threats and criticism from Trump: “Canada has just detonated a bomb under both.”

Ottawa’s ramped-up efforts come amid an increasingly fragile trade relationship between the two countries. The Canadian government is preparing for the possibility that Trump will withdraw from NAFTA, senior officials say, though they aren’t entirely convinced that he will.

After reports Wednesday that Canada now considered it inevitable that Trump would try to withdraw the U.S. from the treaty, one Canadian official with knowledge of the NAFTA negotiation offered a more nuanced position in an email to the Post, saying, “it’s not accurate to say we’re convinced,” but that there was “no question we think there’s a chance it could happen.”

The confusion over Canadian expectations comes ahead of the next round of negotiations, scheduled to be held in Montreal Jan. 23-28.

Trump withdrawing from NAFTA “was always a risk, but that risk is clearly more elevated now,” said Brian DePratto, senior economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank.

Trade war is on
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Offline Happy Guy

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Negotiating tactic in countering the US demands and publicizing the Canadian position.

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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I find it interesting that none, repeat none, of the statements issued by any US authority has included a statement that would read like the following: "The USA has no doubt that its processes to evaluate trade attacks against its markets and for imposing countervailing duties are fair, provide other nations with the appropriate forum to make their representations, that they are in full compliance with all international trade rules and US obligations thereunder and that we will prevail against Canada at the WTO."

I find it interesting that the position expressed is that the claims are groundless, but then turn to threatening that the consequences for Canada will be bad for Canada. In other words, their reflex is still to threaten the country making claim in an international forum instead of neutrally claiming that they are actually in the right and look forward to prevailing. That's because, Trump be damned, the various "civil servants" of the US that have been around for a while in their trade department know damn well that, in general, before unbiased, neutral, third party arbitrators or tribunals, the US tends to lose and be found in breach of trade rules. The real bully out there in international trade is the US, not all the other nations - except perhaps China who is like the USA and, where the US is concerned, pushes back.

That's why the US, in all trade negotiations, always try hard as hell to avoid having to commit to any neutral, external, unbiased legal process to resolve dispute and prefers instead to impose recourse to the US own legal system within the USA - which is heavily loaded against any foreign nation's position.

Offline SeaKingTacco

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Negotiating tactic in countering the US demands and publicizing the Canadian position.

Great. A trade war with our largest trading partner, who happens to be 10 times our size.

What could possibly go wrong...

Offline jmt18325

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It's pretty clear at this point to anyone watching that the US does not and never did have any intention of resigning NAFTA.  It's time to move on from that.  Obviously, the government has come to the same realization.  The tactics now will involve trade complaints, counter tariffs, and stalling.

Offline SeaKingTacco

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It's pretty clear at this point to anyone watching that the US does not and never did have any intention of resigning NAFTA.  It's time to move on from that.  Obviously, the government has come to the same realization.  The tactics now will involve trade complaints, counter tariffs, and stalling.

Boy, a WTO ruling against the US will really show them, won't it?

Aren't you just about the world's largest Trump critic? In what universe do you think he cares about that?

Now, Canada has basically forced Congress and all the Governors of the States to rally around the President. This has disaster written all over it.

It is not like Canada has a lot of new markets to sell into, especially after our PM's rather disasterous showing in Asia this fall where he managed to piss off everyone from Australia through Japan to China.

If this is all part of a Master Liberal Government strategy, I am prepared to admit that I am wrong. But, based on the bumbling history of this government on nearly every file it has touched over the past two years, I am not optimistic.

Offline Remius

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Boy, a WTO ruling against the US will really show them, won't it?


If this is all part of a Master Liberal Government strategy, I am prepared to admit that I am wrong. But, based on the bumbling history of this government on nearly every file it has touched over the past two years, I am not optimistic.

It might or it might not.  Canada's complaint apparently has some 200 examples.  But, what is interesting is that they are listing many examples that the US is doing to China, the EU and other trading partners.   You can bet that this will be watched by those economies.  Almost as if Canada is hitting below the belt by getting those countries involved indirectly (almost representing them) and maybe setting some precedence for them to follow on with their on complaints.

Maybe it is a part of a master strategy.  Canada vs the US might be a losing fight but the World vs the US might not be...
Optio

Offline Pencil Tech

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There was really no reason to renegotiate this agreement. Trump's reasons for wanting to blow it up are all in his fevered brain. Total demagoguery. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Offline AlexanderM

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It might or it might not.  Canada's complaint apparently has some 200 examples.  But, what is interesting is that they are listing many examples that the US is doing to China, the EU and other trading partners.   You can bet that this will be watched by those economies.  Almost as if Canada is hitting below the belt by getting those countries involved indirectly (almost representing them) and maybe setting some precedence for them to follow on with their on complaints.

Maybe it is a part of a master strategy.  Canada vs the US might be a losing fight but the World vs the US might not be...
I believe the saying goes, the only way to deal with a bully is to stand up to the bully. If we knuckle under to Trump it will never end, so if the US is going to try and bully everyone, which they are doing, then it requires a collective front which is the best way to go. Trump doesn't care about trade agreements or rulings, and I'm convinced he's willing to move the goal posts as often as he feels the need, so the only way to deal with that is have, as close to everyone as possible say, that's as far as you go.

Offline Altair

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It might or it might not.  Canada's complaint apparently has some 200 examples.  But, what is interesting is that they are listing many examples that the US is doing to China, the EU and other trading partners.   You can bet that this will be watched by those economies.  Almost as if Canada is hitting below the belt by getting those countries involved indirectly (almost representing them) and maybe setting some precedence for them to follow on with their on complaints.

Maybe it is a part of a master strategy.  Canada vs the US might be a losing fight but the World vs the US might not be...
And it might show that it is easier to deal with Canada and NAFTA than it is to fight god knows how many different countries and Canada at the WTO.

If it gets the US to cave on NAFTA it's a master stroke, but I'm convinced that Ottawa knows NAFTA is dead.
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Offline jmt18325

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Boy, a WTO ruling against the US will really show them, won't it?

Aren't you just about the world's largest Trump critic? In what universe do you think he cares about that?

I doubt that (I haven't really said all that much about him), but I'm definitely not his biggest plan.

With CETA, Canada now has wide access to the European market.  That definitely gives us an alternative.  When it comes to the TPP11, it doesn't really matter how the other countries feel, but whether or not we can make a deal. 

Offline AlexanderM

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Offline Larry Strong

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Boy, a WTO ruling against the US will really show them, won't it?


Yeah seeings how
Quote
Trade experts say while the history of the softwood-lumber wars is long and complicated, they agree that Canada has repeatedly come out on top since the 1980s.

And where are we now.........

https://globalnews.ca/news/3460660/canada-softwood-lumber-battles/


Cheers
Larry

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Offline Altair

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Yeah seeings how
And where are we now.........

https://globalnews.ca/news/3460660/canada-softwood-lumber-battles/


Cheers
Larry
does it not have more weight to it  if more countries join in canadas complaint?
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Offline Larry Strong

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does it not have more weight to it  if more countries join in canadas complaint?

I imagine it would....it will be interesting to see what happens

However...........maybe Zoolander and his Keystonesque crew should be careful what they wish for.........

http://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/australia-new-zealand-back-trumps-fight-against-canadas-very-unfair-dairy-industry


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Larry
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Offline Altair

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I imagine it would....it will be interesting to see what happens

However...........maybe Zoolander and his Keystonesque crew should be careful what they wish for.........

http://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/australia-new-zealand-back-trumps-fight-against-canadas-very-unfair-dairy-industry


Cheers
Larry
I would gladly watch the Canadian dairy cartel die if it means cheaper cheese and milk on grocery shelves.
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Offline ModlrMike

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I would gladly watch the Canadian dairy cartel die if it means cheaper cheese and milk on grocery shelves.

Considering that it's centered in Quebec, not much chance of that happening... although I'm happy to be proved wrong.
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Offline Larry Strong

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I would gladly watch the Canadian dairy cartel die if it means cheaper cheese and milk on grocery shelves.


I agree 100% with that. Was just saying, careful what you wish for........


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Offline Cdn Blackshirt

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I agree 100% with that. Was just saying, careful what you wish for........


Cheers
Larry

That Lobby bought the Conservative Party leadership....so sadly our "supposed" free market reps are now endentured.
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Offline Altair

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That Lobby bought the Conservative Party leadership....so sadly our "supposed" free market reps are now endentured.
damn,  I forgot about that.

Now I really want scheer to lose so bernier can get another crack at the leadership.
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Offline AlexanderM

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This is a couple of weeks old but I hadn't seen it before and it is encouraging.

https://www.axios.com/senate-republicans-1515621750-ea2f15f1-aa6a-4a18-ae9d-43db2f4db220.html

Offline AlexanderM

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Offline Altair

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Raising steel and aluminum tariffs citing national security reasons and is willing to lower them for a better trade deal.

Dotard really has mastered screwing over allies.

Quote
President Donald Trump said the U.S. won’t lower tariffs on steel and aluminum from Mexico and Canada unless the two countries agree to a revamped NAFTA that’s fair to the U.S.

We have large trade deficits with Mexico and Canada. NAFTA, which is under renegotiation right now, has been a bad deal for U.S.A. Massive relocation of companies & jobs. Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum will only come off if new & fair NAFTA agreement is signed. Also, Canada must..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 5, 2018
“NAFTA, which is under renegotiation right now, has been a bad deal for U.S.A. Massive relocation of companies & jobs,” the president said in a tweet Monday. “Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum will only come off if new & fair NAFTA agreement is signed.”

Canada must treat American farmers “much better,” and Mexico must stop drugs from “pouring into the U.S.,” he added.
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Offline PuckChaser

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You had a good point until you tossed in the childish name calling.

Back on topic, however, Trump has a point. We can't cry integrated economy for steel and aluminum exports while on the other hand we supply manage and subsidize dairy and other farming industries.

More and more I'm thinking if we bail on Mexico, we can sort this NAFTA negotiation out while doing a much better job protecting Canadian industries. Sometimes you have to look out for number 1.

Offline daftandbarmy

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You had a good point until you tossed in the childish name calling.

Back on topic, however, Trump has a point. We can't cry integrated economy for steel and aluminum exports while on the other hand we supply manage and subsidize dairy and other farming industries.

More and more I'm thinking if we bail on Mexico, we can sort this NAFTA negotiation out while doing a much better job protecting Canadian industries. Sometimes you have to look out for number 1.

Go East, Young Man..

The BC forest products market used to be completely reliant on the US but, since the early 2000s, has diversified almost 30% of its products eastwards, into China and elsewhere largely as a result of ongoing trouble with the US via the Softwood Lumber Agreement.

https://www.bcfii.ca/chinas-focus-green-building-opens-opportunities-bc-wood-products
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Offline winnipegoo7

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Go East, Young Man..

The BC forest products market used to be completely reliant on the US but, since the early 2000s, has diversified almost 30% of its products eastwards, into China and elsewhere largely as a result of ongoing trouble with the US via the Softwood Lumber Agreement.

https://www.bcfii.ca/chinas-focus-green-building-opens-opportunities-bc-wood-products

Nice try. China is WEST of BC. You can't fool me  ;)

Offline Rifleman62

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I believe we ship raw timber West, not lumber, thus mills are going out of business.

Anywho, if we shipped the product East, Montreal would object.
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Offline AirDet

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Nice try. China is WEST of BC. You can't fool me  ;)

It could be east... it`s just a little further. :rofl:
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Offline pbi

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Quote
Back on topic, however, Trump has a point. We can't cry integrated economy for steel and aluminum exports while on the other hand we supply manage and subsidize dairy and other farming industries.

I wonder what dairy farmers would think about this? We have lots of them in Ontario, especially here in the eastern regions. While Liberals are not usually all that strong outside urban areas, Tories traditionally draw a fair amount of support from rural voters, and as far as I know most dairy farmers and cheese producers are located in rural areas.

The US engages in the direct subsidization of its agricultural sector, under different historical legislations such as the Grain Futures Act, the Agricultural Marketing Act,  and  the Agricultural Adjustment Act, or the 2002 Farm Bill.
(Summary here at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricultural_subsidy#United_States
They don't often talk about it, but they do it. And, consider, their agricultural output in some sectors could probably flood ours out of existence. How much of a level playing field are Canadian farmers on when facing the US agriculture industry?

If we decide not to protect our agricultural sector, or subsidize them directly like the US does, what happens to those farmers (many of whom are struggling now) and the communities they live in? Not all farmers support supply management, but my sense is that most do because no government has ever really gotten rid of it.

This is always the dilemma of protectionism: it can provide stability, security and good jobs in the protected industries and thus in the communities those industries are in. But, it means that consumers end up paying more than if cheaper foreign good enter the country unrestricted.

Which is the more important result?
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Offline Cdn Blackshirt

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I read an interesting counter-point to the "Trump is being mean to us" meme, which is easily regurgitated by Canadian media.

It basically broke down how little steel Canada actually produced vs the slightly-value add 'products' we shipped into the United States.

Same issue with Aluminum from Mexico.

Where they went with this was that at the end of the day, a huge portion of the raw material Canada uses for products which it then ships duty-free into the United States is in fact Chinese.

Same issue with aluminum coming in from Mexico.

Not sure if anyone has read about the $2 billion aluminum ingot pile in Northern Mexico, but the elephant in the room is this is all about China's cheating....it's just no one has the balls to call them on it.
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Offline Altair

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I read an interesting counter-point to the "Trump is being mean to us" meme, which is easily regurgitated by Canadian media.

It basically broke down how little steel Canada actually produced vs the slightly-value add 'products' we shipped into the United States.

Same issue with Aluminum from Mexico.

Where they went with this was that at the end of the day, a huge portion of the raw material Canada uses for products which it then ships duty-free into the United States is in fact Chinese.

Same issue with aluminum coming in from Mexico.

Not sure if anyone has read about the $2 billion aluminum ingot pile in Northern Mexico, but the elephant in the room is this is all about China's cheating....it's just no one has the balls to call them on it.
http://business.financialpost.com/opinion/terence-corcoran-why-president-trump-is-on-the-right-side-of-the-steel-trade-war

Quote
Steel has also been a nationalist, subsidized and protected industry in many countries for most of the last 100 years, a status that’s been hard to shake. The recent crisis was triggered by the 2008 economic collapse, which saw steel demand plunge. As demand recovered after 2008, the global capacity to produce steel soared, most of it in China. The usual snapshot statistic shows 2016 steel-making capacity of 2,369 million metric tonnes (mmt) compared with demand of 1,628 mmt. The gap implies more 700 mmt of excess capacity, equal to almost double the combined annual steel production of all of North America, Japan and the EU.

That 700-mmt world steel capacity/production gap has grown from 542 mmt in 2012, the year the European Commission launched its “Action Plan” for a competitive steel industry.

Since then, the OECD has been at the forefront of attempts to resolve the growing capacity problem. Two years ago the OECD, at a “high-level meeting” on the issue, warned that “the global steel industry is currently in the midst of a serious crisis that is leading to considerable trade disturbances and escalating tensions between trading partners.”

As demand declined, world steel exports continued to rise. In response, the OECD said governments have “resorted to measures including import duty increases, government subsidies and other support measures, export incentives, trade finance, investment measures, import quotas, minimum import prices, and surveillance mechanisms. While these support measures might provide temporary relief, they do not provide long-lasting solutions to help the industry and can lead to further trade tensions between steel trading partners.”
I don't side with the conclusion of the article, but I am posting it for the raw stats.

There is a global glut of steel.  The problem here is the premise that trump is raising tariffs because of that. If that were the case, why would he eliminate them for a better deal on NAFTA? It undermines the entire rational behind the tariffs in the first place.
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Offline FJAG

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http://business.financialpost.com/opinion/terence-corcoran-why-president-trump-is-on-the-right-side-of-the-steel-trade-war
 I don't side with the conclusion of the article, but I am posting it for the raw stats.

There is a global glut of steel.  The problem here is the premise that trump is raising tariffs because of that. If that were the case, why would he eliminate them for a better deal on NAFTA? It undermines the entire rational behind the tariffs in the first place.

And therein lies the problem.

As I understood Trump, the issue is a strategic one in that the US requires a healthy Steel and Aluminum industry in order to ensure it's supply if and when dispute s with foreign producers choke supplies.

The long term intent with tariffs is to increase imported costs so that domestic producers can thrive and ramp up facilities and production. This, in part, (I think) is why there was such a fuss about the Gordie Howe bridge and the requirement that only US and/or Canadian and not Chinese steel be used.

The problem is that steel rarely goes to consumers as a raw product. It goes by way of manufactured products where the consumer doesn't know and care about content, only price. Adding tariffs does not ban imports, merely makes them more expensive. It's a game of shifting prices and tariffs which may or may not cause a ramping up of a domestic industry. If manufacturers can offset the higher prices by way of passing them off on the consumer then they still won't care where the steel comes from so long as it's the cheapest at that moment.

If one wants to guarantee that a strategic industry will survive then it is a bit risky to leave that at the whim of the capitalist marketplace. It's best done by nationalizing sufficient portions of the industry so as to meet ongoing and projected strategic needs. i.e. create a crown steel corporation and then mandate that all defence products, all national highway infrastructure, all federal construction projects use that corporation's product. It's counter intuitive to free enterprise but if the resource is truly a "strategic" one then it may be necessary.

The problem with Trump is that he has a large number of unofficial advisors who have their own special interests and agendas. He has just said that he likes to see two opposing viewpoints fought out and then he makes his decision. Quite frankly, Trump has neither the experience nor the intellectual depth to properly weigh conflicting arguments in order to determine what is in the nation's best interest. To call steel and aluminum a strategic asset and then consider it fine to leave a component in Canadian hands so long as there's a decent NAFTA agreement is contradictory. It shows that he is playing with negotiation positions--focusing on the art of the deal--rather than an actual strategic end state.

 :cheers:
« Last Edit: March 07, 2018, 21:28:05 by FJAG »
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Offline Journeyman

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The problem with Trump is that....
That could be a never-ending sentence.     :nod:
There’s nothing more maddening than debating someone who doesn’t know history, doesn’t read books, and frames their myopia as virtue. The level of unapologetic conjecture I’ve encountered lately isn’t just frustrating, it’s retrogressive, unprecedented, and absolutely terrifying.
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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See my comments in yellow:

And therein lies the problem.

As I understood Trump, the issue is a strategic one in that the US requires a healthy Steel and Aluminum industry in order to ensure it's supply if and when dispute s with foreign producers choke supplies.

It does seem to be the original problem in Trump's sight. But it is incorrect.

Let's start with aluminium. It requires two main ingredients: Bauxite as the raw material and incredibly large amounts of electricity (Canada's largest producing province, Quebec, could - if it shut its aluminium smelters down, provide 30% of the whole of Ontario electricity needs. That's how much electricity is required). Bauxite is NOT mined in the USA, or Canada actually - only Jamaica mines some in North America - but comes mostly from Brazil, Australia and Indonesia. Moreover, at the actual aluminium production level, Canada produces 14% of the world aluminium, while the USA produces 3.5%. The US consumes, however, 20% of the world's aluminium, and we, Canada, make up 63% of its shortfall.

So two things here: First, there is no way in hell that the US can ramp up its aluminium production to the point of near self-sufficiency (heck, they already have a hard time generating the electricity they currently need, and couldn't do it without B.C., Manitoba and Quebec). They could, however, ramp up and work with Canada so that, between the two of us, we could make a self sufficient bloc for "national" security reasons. Anybody ever wondered why we have a fighter base at Bagotville? It was set up there during WWII specifically to protect the critical aluminium production facilities required for the war effort of Canada and the USA.

Steel is pretty close to the same situation: Between Canada and the USA, we mine enough iron ore and have enough smelters facilities to provide for BOTH of our needs, but without Canadian iron ore (Canada and he US mine almost exactly the same amount of iron ore, year in year out), the USA is short on ore for production. Similarly, the trade in finished product (read: steel) between the USA and Canada is a zero sum game. We export to the USA as much steel as we import from them - it's just that plants producing this steel product or that steel product, as the need may, be are in either one country or the other.

So the real "national security" aspects of these two specific product for the USA should actually direct the USA towards an integrated Canada/US open market, as is right now under NAFTA.


The long term intent with tariffs is to increase imported costs so that domestic producers can thrive and ramp up facilities and production. This, in part, (I think) is why there was such a fuss about the Gordie Howe bridge and the requirement that only US and/or Canadian and not Chinese steel be used.

The problem is that steel rarely goes to consumers as a raw product. It goes by way of manufactured products where the consumer doesn't know and care about content, only price. Adding tariffs does not ban imports, merely makes them more expensive. It's a game of shifting prices and tariffs which may or may not cause a ramping up of a domestic industry. If manufacturers can offset the higher prices by way of passing them off on the consumer then they still won't care where the steel comes from so long as it's the cheapest at that moment.

I think that "how" the product goes to the consumer is irrelevant. If the argument is national security, then it is the availability of the raw product to US manufacturers of products - principally defence related manufacturing - that matters.

If one wants to guarantee that a strategic industry will survive then it is a bit risky to leave that at the whim of the capitalist marketplace. It's best done by nationalizing sufficient portions of the industry so as to meet ongoing and projected strategic needs. i.e. create a crown steel corporation and then mandate that all defence products, all national highway infrastructure, all federal construction projects use that corporation's product. It's counter intuitive to free enterprise but if the resource is truly a "strategic" one then it may be necessary.

The day something in the USA is nationalized, even for strategic needs, is the day the end of times will occur.  ;D

The problem with Trump is that he has a large number of unofficial advisors who have their own special interests and agendas. He has just said that he likes to see two opposing viewpoints fought out and then he makes his decision. Quite frankly, Trump has neither the experience nor the intellectual depth to properly weigh conflicting arguments in order to determine what is in the nation's best interest. To call steel and aluminum a strategic asset and then consider it fine to leave a component in Canadian hands so long as there's a decent NAFTA agreement is contradictory. It shows that he is playing with negotiation positions--focusing on the art of the deal--rather than an actual strategic end state.

 :cheers:

 :cheers:

Personally, and considering the aluminium market parameters I outlined above, I have said, in jest, that our answer to President Trump should be to publicly state something like this:

"Oh my god! We never realized that our selling our aluminium to you was actually affecting your national security. We have had a unified front on the national defence of North America since WWII and the last thing we want is to negatively affect the USA's national security. So forget about this meagre 10/25% tariff. If our actions in providing you with steel and aluminium are negatively affecting your national security, we will immediately STOP selling you any aluminium, steel or even iron ore. You can thank us later!"

Then just watch as the US stock markets tank by 40% in one day.

 ;D

Offline tomahawk6

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It looks like Trump will look at trade with Canada and Mexico on a case by case basis.picking a trade war with countries interlocked with the US economy would be ill advised.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/377233-wh-mexico-canada-could-receive-tariff-exemptions

The White House said Wednesday it may exempt Mexico, Canada and other nations from President Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

"There are potential carve-outs for Mexico and Canada based on national security, and possibly other countries as well, based on that process,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters, adding other nations could receive exemptions as well.

"That would be a case-by-case and country-by-country basis but it would be determined [by] whether or not there is a national security exemption," she said.

Offline FJAG

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. . .

Then just watch as the US stock markets tank by 40% in one day.

 ;D

What bothers me a lot is that I actually hold a dollar or two in US stocks. Every time the dollar drops my portfolio actually goes up based on the US stocks being worth more in Canadian dollars.

I actually hate seeing US stocks tanking because when they do . . . well it's kind of obvious.  :'(

 :cheers:

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Offline Pencil Tech

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See my comments in yellow:

Personally, and considering the aluminium market parameters I outlined above, I have said, in jest, that our answer to President Trump should be to publicly state something like this:

"Oh my god! We never realized that our selling our aluminium to you was actually affecting your national security. We have had a unified front on the national defence of North America since WWII and the last thing we want is to negatively affect the USA's national security. So forget about this meagre 10/25% tariff. If our actions in providing you with steel and aluminium are negatively affecting your national security, we will immediately STOP selling you any aluminium, steel or even iron ore. You can thank us later!"

Then just watch as the US stock markets tank by 40% in one day.

 ;D

Thanks for that. I really learned something.

Offline Good2Golf

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Don't miss out on the fact that it may not just be about steel and aluminum.  Nothing like a good threatened pendulum swing well across center to force relief from other thorns (dairy supply management and softwood, to name a few).

I do actually think there's more going on than an unrelated, sequential, one issue after another. 

:2c:

G2G

Offline Old Sweat

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In the 19th century the adage was to beware of the "Yankee trader."

For example, the Alaska boundary dispute.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_boundary_dispute
« Last Edit: March 08, 2018, 13:33:51 by Old Sweat »

Offline pbi

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Interesting to see that Trump's economic advisor just quit. It must have been a very frustrating job. Trump never really seemed to pay any attention to any differing points of view on the US economy: he twice made wrong claims about the US-Canada trade surplus, which he could have corrected by checking the Dept of Commerce, or the Office of the Trade Representative, but for some reason chose not to.

I wonder what he bases his statements on?
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Offline RangerRay

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I wonder what he bases his statements on?

Mind-melds with Alex Jones?
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John Ivison: Trudeau's call to Trump credited with securing exemption from steel tariff: http://nationalpost.com/opinion/john-ivison-trudeaus-call-to-trump-credited-with-securing-exemption-from-steel-tariff

Quote
On Donald Trump’s threatened steel and aluminum tariffs, the Trudeau government has skillfully leveraged the network of contacts and allies built up over the past 18 months to secure Canada an exemption.

Last week, Trump suggested the 25 per cent tariff on steel and 10 per cent levy on aluminum would apply to all countries in order to protect national security. He was apparently convinced by Trade Secretary Wilbur Ross and Trade Director Peter Navarro that U.S. industry could only be protected by building a fortress around America to block trans-shipped Chinese metals

Over the weekend, Trudeau and his ministers set out to counter that message. The prime minister called close Trump ally, Blackstone Group CEO Steve Schwartzman, while Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan held conversations with his American counterpart James Mattis, pointing out that far from being a national security threat, Canada supplies the U.S. with much of the aluminum used in its fighter jets.

That call is said to have been important because, while national security was viewed as a bargaining chip by Navarro and Ross, it is taken far more seriously by veterans like Mattis, who appreciate the military supply chain links with Canada.

The case for Canada was also made by former prime minister Brian Mulroney to his friend Ross, while Trudeau reached out to opponents of tariffs like Tom Donohue, the chief executive of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Mitch McConnell, the U.S. Senate Majority Leader, and Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

However, the pivotal intervention seems to have been Trudeau’s call to Trump on Monday night. Trudeau told the president that he is planning to visit every steel town in Canada in the coming week, where he will reinforce the message that Canadian steel is made in Canada by Canadians.

For whatever reasons, Trump listens to Trudeau and the two have an easy-going, unthreatening relationship reminiscent of the school bully and class dweeb. The prime minister has shown admirable self-restraint in his exchanges with the mercurial Trump and Thursday was the pay-off for abasing himself before the alpha dog president at the White House last October.

Perhaps as important as Trudeau’s argument that Canada is a steadfast ally, integrated tightly into civilian and military supply chains, were American concerns about the impact of tariffs and the breakdown of NAFTA on the Mexican economy. Mexico may not be a national security threat now but it could well become one if its economy collapses.


Trump listens to trudeau,  one positive.
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Offline GAP

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Hmmmm.....Trump enjoys his women sucking up.....maybe he''s just bi?
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Offline Altair

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Hmmmm.....Trump enjoys his women sucking up.....maybe he''s just bi?
Chrystia Freeland probably has a more accurate take on Trumps change of heart.

Quote
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland today praised all-party, pan-Canadian efforts to secure Canada a temporary exemption from Donald Trump's steel tariffs.

Reacting to the decision by the U.S. president to "hold off" on imposing the duties on Mexico and Canada, Freeland said politicians of all stripes, stakeholders and businesses worked energetically to reach a positive outcome.

"This has been a true Team Canada effort," she said during a news conference in Toronto today.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trump-tariff-steel-1.4567730


Probably not bi.
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Interesting to see that Trump's economic advisor just quit. It must have been a very frustrating job. Trump never really seemed to pay any attention to any differing points of view on the US economy: he twice made wrong claims about the US-Canada trade surplus, which he could have corrected by checking the Dept of Commerce, or the Office of the Trade Representative, but for some reason chose not to.

I wonder what he bases his statements on?

You say that as if POTUS has just one economic advisor.  I suspect there is a whole team of advisors. 

Offline pbi

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You say that as if POTUS has just one economic advisor.  I suspect there is a whole team of advisors.

What I should have said, is Gary Cohn, the Chief Economic Advisor. Who, one would have thought, as "Chief" was the primary source of economic advice.
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You say that as if POTUS has just one economic advisor.  I suspect there is a whole team of advisors.

Actually it's not so much advisors but his cronies that he phones every evening to ask them if he's still doing a great job and to tell him what to do next. The man knows very little and therefore takes much advice. Whoever gets to him last and flatters him the most usually gets listened to the most.

 :cheers:
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Offline pbi

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Actually it's not so much advisors but his cronies that he phones every evening to ask them if he's still doing a great job and to tell him what to do next. The man knows very little and therefore takes much advice. Whoever gets to him last and flatters him the most usually gets listened to the most.

 :cheers:

My assessment also. He is astute, though, in that he knows how well the Big Lie theory works. I have come to believe that no matter what rubbish was to come out of his mouth, a large slice of the US population would believe him because he "says it like it is", which actually means he says it like they think it is, or want it to be. I suppose all politicians of all stripes use this device to some degree, but he is the most blatant I can recall in recent US history.
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Actually it's not so much advisors but his cronies that he phones every evening to ask them if he's still doing a great job and to tell him what to do next. The man knows very little and therefore takes much advice. Whoever gets to him last and flatters him the most usually gets listened to the most.

 :cheers:

Unfortunately, I think you are correct.   Still it is better for the US than having narcissistic criminals as POTUS.
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No matter the reason, or outcome, I think Canada should tread lightly and not screw around. The steel and aluminum tariff was recinded for us. Again, no matter why the change of heart, but it happened. That was Trump's olive branch to get this done, as I see it. If the Trudeau government does not take their stupid social engineering off the table, quit being obtuse and get on with it, Trump is going to squash them like a bug, And I don't blame him. Doesn't matter though, China has been dumping here for years. We buy it, process it and sell it over the border.

Had a contractor here that used over a million bucks worth of Chinese stainless steel for a highway project. One week into the installation it all had to come down and be replaced with North American stuff. It was rusting, even though the paperwork said it was top quality stainless.
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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Unfortunately, I think you are correct.   Still it is better for the US than having narcissistic criminals as POTUS.

Obama has left the building.
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but he left his minions behind.

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The Liberals have potentially a lot to lose here. They have almost torpedoed the TPP, failed to capitalize on the CTA (free trade with the EU negotiated by the Harper Government), were kicked to the curb by China and now India on trade, and have conspicuously failed to fix or support the creation of hydrocarbon networks, isolating Canadian oil and forcing producers to accept steep discounts (Texas Intermediate is selling for @ $60 bbl, while Canadian Western Select is selling for $36 bbl. This is a huge differential and denies Canada billions of dollars of income).

Being kicked to the curb by the US (and President Donald Trump is not a fan of NAFTA) will essentially knock over the last of the foreign trade props holding up the Canadian economy, but there seems to be no truly serious movement by the Liberals, who have effectively signalled they are simply not focused on the economy at all.

The Liberal brain trust may discover that social engineering is somewhat more difficult to do when the economy is grinding to a halt.......
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Offline daftandbarmy

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The Liberals have potentially a lot to lose here. They have almost torpedoed the TPP, failed to capitalize on the CTA (free trade with the EU negotiated by the Harper Government), were kicked to the curb by China and now India on trade, and have conspicuously failed to fix or support the creation of hydrocarbon networks, isolating Canadian oil and forcing producers to accept steep discounts (Texas Intermediate is selling for @ $60 bbl, while Canadian Western Select is selling for $36 bbl. This is a huge differential and denies Canada billions of dollars of income).

Being kicked to the curb by the US (and President Donald Trump is not a fan of NAFTA) will essentially knock over the last of the foreign trade props holding up the Canadian economy, but there seems to be no truly serious movement by the Liberals, who have effectively signalled they are simply not focused on the economy at all.

The Liberal brain trust may discover that social engineering is somewhat more difficult to do when the economy is grinding to a halt.......

"The problem with socialism is that, eventually, you run out of other people's money." Margaret Thatcher

 :nod:
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The President discovered that the US ran a $2.8b trade surplus with Canada in 2017.




Offline Fishbone Jones

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Partly because of the steel we buy from China, then gets transshipped into the States.

A surplus that small is pocket change and not worth the discussion. Trump throws all kinds of stuff out there. He's a master negotiator. Besides, he's not really involved in them is he?

All this is just jockeying for position. The real negotiations are next month in the US.

Just my opinion, of course.
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Offline PPCLI Guy

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Partly because of the steel we buy from China, then gets transshipped into the States.

A surplus that small is pocket change and not worth the discussion. Trump throws all kinds of stuff out there. He's a master negotiator. Besides, he's not really involved in them is he?

All this is just jockeying for position. The real negotiations are next month in the US.

Just my opinion, of course.

Just some facts from US government:

https://www.trade.gov/steel/countries/pdfs/imports-Canada.pdf

Quote
Steel Imports Report: Canada
Imports by Top Source
The top 5 source countries for Canada’s steel imports represented 79 percent of Canada’s total steel import volume in 2016 at 6.1 million
metrics tons (mmt).

The United States by far accounted for the largest share of Canada’s imports by source country at 5 percent (4.5 mmt), followed by China at 9 percent (0.7 mmt), South Korea at 5 percent (0.4 mmt), Japan at 3 percent (0.3 mmt), and Taiwan at 3 percent (0.2 mmt).

Notably, while Canada’s top source countries have shifted from year to year, the United States has ranked as Canada’s top import source for steel products for more than 20 years.

And the US Steel Report:

https://www.trade.gov/steel/countries/pdfs/imports-us.pdf

Quote
Imports by Top Source
The top 10 source countries for U.S. steel imports represented 78 percent of the total steel import volume in YTD 2017 at 21 million metrics tons (mmt).
Canada accounted for the largest share of U.S. imports by source country at 16 percent (4.3 mmt), followed by Brazil at 13 percent (3.6 mmt), South Korea at 10 percent (2.7 mmt), Mexico at 9 percent (2.4 mmt), and Russia at 9 percent (2.4 mmt).

While the rankings of the top 10 source countries for U.S. imports has fluctuated over time, Canada has retained the top spot

So Canada imports more steel from US than it exports (4.5 mmt vice 4.3 mmt).  Canada  only import 0.7 mmt from China.  The net delta then is 0,5 mmt.  Given that the government is NOT a significant consumer of steel in Canada, and that most steel companies in Canada are foreign owned, I do not see any likelihood that Canada is "buying Chinese steel and transhipping it into the States".
"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Just some facts from US government:

https://www.trade.gov/steel/countries/pdfs/imports-Canada.pdf

And the US Steel Report:

https://www.trade.gov/steel/countries/pdfs/imports-us.pdf

So Canada imports more steel from US than it exports (4.5 mmt vice 4.3 mmt).  Canada  only import 0.7 mmt from China.  The net delta then is 0,5 mmt.  Given that the government is NOT a significant consumer of steel in Canada, and that most steel companies in Canada are foreign owned, I do not see any likelihood that Canada is "buying Chinese steel and transhipping it into the States".

OMG!!! CTV lied. I wrote what they were saying while I watched their news story. Perhaps you should correct them, or Stats Canada where they say they got the info. Thanks for the rest of the story.  :salute:

See, I  just start to trust Canadian content like I'm told to and then this happens.
Oh well, you might have proved my long running point about the Canadian MSM.  ;)
« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 03:10:38 by recceguy »
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Offline pbi

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The President discovered that the US ran a $2.8b trade surplus with Canada in 2017.

But then he undiscovered it. Or something. I can't quite follow his logic path. One thing he really needs to do is sack those pesky disloyal US Govt agencies that publish figures that don't support his argument.

Or, better yet, just sack everybody who doesn't agree with him.
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The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline dapaterson

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Well, he signed off on that report. Are you saying he should fire himself?
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Offline pbi

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Well, he signed off on that report. Are you saying he should fire himself?

No, no, no!! Sheesh! Don't you guys get it? He works for Mr Trump and that's who decides!  And he wouldn't try to do that because, he's like, really smart and he's said a lot of things. And he hears more and more people saying how beautiful and fantastic he is. And anyway, if he fired himself he wouldn't go because it would be Fake News.

And now, speaking about firing people, here is some interesting speculation from Fox News:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/03/14/mcmaster-shulkin-and-kelly-could-be-next-to-go-in-white-house-bloodbath-sources-say.html

Soon all those irritating voices of experience, reason and order will be out of the way, so then the real fun can start. Drain the swamp!
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline Pencil Tech

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No, no, no!! Sheesh! Don't you guys get it? He works for Mr Trump and that's who decides!  And he wouldn't try to do that because, he's like, really smart and he's said a lot of things. And he hears more and more people saying how beautiful and fantastic he is. And anyway, if he fired himself he wouldn't go because it would be Fake News.

And now, speaking about firing people, here is some interesting speculation from Fox News:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/03/14/mcmaster-shulkin-and-kelly-could-be-next-to-go-in-white-house-bloodbath-sources-say.html

Soon all those irritating voices of experience, reason and order will be out of the way, so then the real fun can start. Drain the swamp!

Yes, when he replaces McMaster with John Bolton, who really, really, REALLY wants to bomb North Korea. I hope none of the young folks on this site will have to go and die in Donald Trump's World War 3. I sincerely hope we don't stand up this time like dutiful little acolytes with our little frigate and our little six-pack, just so we can be part of the circus.

Offline Fishbone Jones

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Came across this elsewhere. Thought it was kinda funny.
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Offline Altair

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Someday I'll care about milpoints.