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Canadians Need to Support Trump

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I am no fan of Donald Trump. but it looks like he's getting ready to go after China... We need to show our American friends all the solidarity we can muster. Make a choice... Would you rather go after Trump, or would you rather go after China? In times like these, we no longer have the luxery of choosing who our alies our. Whatever you think a Trump, a world united against China, is more powerful than a world divided. There is growing edvidence that China is using the virus to conduct biological warfare against the world. Why did China just ship 1 million faulty masks to Canada. Why did they ship faulty text kits to Europe? Why did Xi Jinping have criminal gangs buy up the PPE in Canada, just to have it shipped right back to China? Was it to weaken us, just before the pandemic struck? The Epoce Times has reported on China's program of "Unrestricted Warfare" against the west... by poisioning our homelesses with fentanyl?

How much more shit are we gonna put up with?

Edited by ProudConservative
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We can choose neither. 

Just because Trump is standing up to China doesn't mean he isn't a disaster of a human being and an even worse president.  

If Trump hadn't burned so many bridges around the world leading up to this, he wouldn't be such a pariah and folks in Canada, Europe etc might actually listen to him.  International leaders can't trust him or his intentions.  He's so dishonest, petty and mercurial that all anyone can hope to do is stay out of his way and not provoke a tantrum.  

Donald Trump has thrown American diplomacy back decades and China's influence will have grown immensely after his presidency is done (hopefully this year).  The vacuum that US has left behind on rational world leadership is going to get filled somewhere. 

 

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35 minutes ago, Moonbox said:

If Trump hadn't burned so many bridges around the world leading up to this, he wouldn't be such a pariah and folks in Canada, Europe etc might actually listen to him.  International leaders can't trust him or his intentions.  He's so dishonest, petty and mercurial that all anyone can hope to do is stay out of his way and not provoke a tantrum. 

 

Yes and no...Europe did "listen to him" concerning increased NATO spending, ISIS engagement, import tariffs, and unfettered immigration (indirectly).   Trump remains hated for other policies from climate change to travel bans and personal demeanor.    Trump has also forced the EU to take a good look at itself and home grown fractures that were hidden by previous assumptions about American military and economic cover.   The rise of right wing elements in Europe readily embraces Trump, as did many of the UK's Brexiteers.   President Trump is only a symptom and backlash against the perceived and real failings of the past due to globalism and disenfranchised voters in the U.S.

Canada has its own love-hate relationship not only with Trump, but with any American administration that continues to have such an impact on trade and foreign policy.

 

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For Europe, meanwhile, the challenges presented by the shift in its strategic landscape are huge; but while they are exacerbated by the current U.S. administration’s policies, they are not caused by them. The truth is that Trump holds up a mirror to Europe. We Europeans may not like what we see in it, and indeed we should not. But we are well advised to take note, and act on what we see.

https://www.brookings.edu/research/hostile-ally-the-trump-challenge-and-europes-inadequate-response/

https://www.politico.eu/article/stronger-europe-to-tackle-donald-trump-dont-count-on-it/

 

 

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Donald Trump has thrown American diplomacy back decades and China's influence will have grown immensely after his presidency is done (hopefully this year).  The vacuum that US has left behind on rational world leadership is going to get filled somewhere. 

 

China's influence also grew during the Obama presidency, because there was little that American influence would or could counter.   China purposely seeks to dominate areas that have less American interests, expanding influence into Asia, Africa, Central and South America.   Other nations are going to have to learn to deal with a more powerful China with less whining about how much the U.S. is not providing "leadership" they seemingly can't cope without.

Edited by bush_cheney2004
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49 minutes ago, Moonbox said:

We can choose neither. 

Just because Trump is standing up to China doesn't mean he isn't a disaster of a human being and an even worse president.  

And his sudden interest in blaming China is coming about because HE is being blamed for screwing up the pandemic response and can't figure a way to blame the Democrats. God knows he has to find someone to blame because Trump has never taken responsibility for anything in his life.

49 minutes ago, Moonbox said:

If Trump hadn't burned so many bridges around the world leading up to this, he wouldn't be such a pariah and folks in Canada, Europe etc might actually listen to him.

Action against China needs to be taken by a united West, but Trump has spent the last three and a half years attacking and insulting other western countries and leaders. Instead of involving the rest of the West in a united effort to force China into obeying international trade rules he flailed about wildly at every single trading nation from Canada to Europe to South Korea.

49 minutes ago, Moonbox said:

Donald Trump has thrown American diplomacy back decades and China's influence will have grown immensely after his presidency is done (hopefully this year).  The vacuum that US has left behind on rational world leadership is going to get filled somewhere.

Yes. China and Russia have moved swiftly to increase their influence around the world while Trump has still not even filled the vacancies at the State Department left when Obama's appointees left, including a quarter of ambassadorships.

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BC I agree with some of what you're saying.  Contrary to most Trump critics, I also think Obama was a pretty bad president.  People get their panties twisted when I say this, but the reality is that Trump being elected probably wasn't even a possibility if not for the continued collapse of bi-lateral cooperation that didn't start with Obama, but certainly hit a new low with him.  I'm not really sure how that gets solved.  

That being said, Trump scrapped the Iran nuclear deal and it's hard to see it as anything but a spiteful reversal of the previous administration's policies.  It deeply undermines the trust that other countries have in American diplomacy and treaties. 

As for what the world "did" listen to Trump on, I think you give him too much credit.  While some of his criticism on defense spending may have paid off (short-term), it's also happening with the backdrop of increased Russian aggression.  We're talking 5-10% increases on budgets which were only 1-1.5% of GDP in the first place.  Most of the bigger increases were on the Eastern end of Europe and in Scandinavia, for obvious reasons.  

As for his implementation of tariffs, that's been a hot mess.  While doing something about China etc is probably a fine idea in the long run, there's a good way and a bad way to do it.  In Trump's case, he's just firing from the hip and by most measurements it's done more harm than good.  The steel and aluminum tariffs from 2019 apparently "created/saved" ~12,000 jobs, but led to $11B in new metal input-costs.  Congratulations, each one of those extra jobs cost the US economy about $1M.  Canada's aluminum imports were apparently a threat to national security or something...

As for immigration, Europe didn't need Trump for what's going on there.  That's been a point of contention in the UK for a long time and in countries like Hungary, Austria and France, they needed no encouragement.  

 

 

 

 

Edited by Moonbox

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1 minute ago, Moonbox said:

Actually I agree with most of what you're saying.  Contrary to most Trump critics, I also think Obama was a pretty bad president.  People get their panties twisted when I say this, but the reality is that Trump being elected probably wasn't even a possibility if not for the continued collapse of bi-lateral cooperation that didn't start with Obama, but certainly hit a new low with him.  I'm not really sure how that gets solved.  

I made this point before Trump was even elected. Here, in fact. I asked his admirers to name a country which had better relations with the US than under Bush. Nobody could. Obama was an academic, a technocrat, and had a habit of lecturing. He was not good at the interpersonal stuff most politicians thrive on. Obama was a lousy president who thought the deal-making between the administration and congress which gets things done was beneath him.

1 minute ago, Moonbox said:

As for what the world "did" listen to Trump on, I think you give him too much credit.  While some of his criticism on defense spending may have paid off (short-term), it's also happening with the backdrop of increased Russian aggression.  We're talking 5-10% increases on budgets which were only 1-1.5% of GDP in the first place.  Most of the bigger increases were on the Eastern end of Europe and in Scandinavia, for obvious reasons.  

Unfortunately, western military spending is likely to retreat after the havoc this virus has played on budgets. And that could be disastrous because most western militaries are in terrible shape, including Canada's. Russia and China, of course, will continue increasing their military spending, not having to worry much about public protests or complaints.

1 minute ago, Moonbox said:

As for his implementation of tariffs, that's been a hot mess.  While doing something about China etc is probably a fine idea in the long run, there's a good way and a bad way to do it.  In Trump's case, he's just firing from the hip and by most measurements it's done more harm than good.

Chinese exports to the US have INCREASED over his term. There are ways to get the Chinese to comply, but openly threatening them will never do it because face is involved and the Chinese government would rather see half their people starve than lose face by backing down. You have to be a little subtle with them, but Trump doesn't do subtle. Besides, he took on the Chinese as much to get the support of his base as anything else. I don't think he really gives a damn how much China exports to the US.

 

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1 minute ago, Moonbox said:

Actually I agree with most of what you're saying.  Contrary to most Trump critics, I also think Obama was a pretty bad president.  People get their panties twisted when I say this, but the reality is that Trump being elected probably wasn't even a possibility if not for the continued collapse of bi-lateral cooperation that didn't start with Obama, but certainly hit a new low with him.  I'm not really sure how that gets solved.  

That being said, Trump scrapped the Iran nuclear deal and it's hard to see it as anything but a spiteful reversal of the previous administration's policies.  It deeply undermines the trust that other countries have in American diplomacy and treaties.

 

OK...but what you are describing is an American shift and withdrawal that was happening long before Trump.   Trump's antics make it easy to hate him at an emotional level, but American foreign policy was seriously altered after the Iraq War in 2003 (George W. Bush) and the "fractures" among so called allies.  It is easy to call it American "isolationism" now in a historical context, but American leadership was seriously questioned long before Trump and it is not realistic to expect U.S. administrations to resume that role as before.  

The Iran nuclear deal was unconstitutional and was not approved by Congress, and neither was the Paris Climate Agreement.   Trump took advantage of Obama's overreach on the campaign trail.

 

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As for what the world "did" listen to Trump on, I think you give him too much credit.  While some of his criticism on defense spending may have paid off (short-term), it's also happening with the backdrop of increased Russian aggression.  We're talking 5-10% increases on budgets which were only 1-1.5% of GDP in the first place.  Most of the bigger increases were on the Eastern end of Europe and in Scandinavia, for obvious reasons. 

 

Chancellor Merkel responded directly to Trump's NATO threats, and other nations made commitments to the NATO spending minimums (Wales 2014).   Several other U.S. presidents have previously taken NATO deadbeats to task, so it is not a new issue, regardless of Russia.   It is Trump's style and threats that ratchet up emotions beyond the base issue that can't be ignored.

 

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As for his implementation of tariffs, that's been a hot mess.  While doing something about China etc is probably a fine idea in the long run, there's a good way and a bad way to do it.  In Trump's case, he's just firing from the hip and by most measurements it's done more harm than good.  The steel and aluminum tariffs from 2019 apparently "created/saved" ~12,000 jobs, but led to $11B in new metal input-costs.  Congratulations, each one of those extra jobs cost the US economy about $1M.  Canada's aluminum imports were apparently a threat to national security or something...

 

It is bigger than that...Trump has attacked the slow and plodding WTO processes and baseline tariffs regime, dumping, IP theft, transhippments, etc.   Canada responded to several of these issues that otherwise would not have happened.    From a strategic materials point of view, the U.S. should not be so dependent on foreign aluminum or steel (and several other key materials).   We are even learning this lesson for PPE because of COVID-19.

 

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As for immigration, Europe didn't need Trump for what's going on there.  That's been a point of contention in the UK for a long time and in countries like Hungary, Austria and France, they needed no encouragement.  

 

Right....the point being that it is/was not unique to Trump or right wing supporters.   Trump just exploited an existing undercurrent against illegal immigration.    Obama deported more illegals than Trump has to date.

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3 hours ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

OK...but what you are describing is an American shift and withdrawal that was happening long before Trump.   Trump's antics make it easy to hate him at an emotional level, but American foreign policy was seriously altered after the Iraq War in 2003 (George W. Bush) and the "fractures" among so called allies.  It is easy to call it American "isolationism" now in a historical context, but American leadership was seriously questioned long before Trump and it is not realistic to expect U.S. administrations to resume that role as before.  

The Iran nuclear deal was unconstitutional and was not approved by Congress, and neither was the Paris Climate Agreement.   Trump took advantage of Obama's overreach on the campaign trail.

American foreign policy was different after the Iraq War, I agree.  The "leadership" position, however, isn't a mantle bestowed on it by the Free World.  Rather, it's a matter of circumstance.  The US is, by far, the most economically and militarily powerful country in the world, and makes a point of sticking its nose in everything.  Without any cooperation or support from the rest of the world (traditional so-called allies included), these sorts of activities are more likely to be viewed as bullying or worse.  

The Paris Climate Agreement is a joke and I can at least give credit to Trump to walking away from it. The Iran deal was something else entirely.  Where the former was a vague and toothless promise that did little more than redistribute wealth away from the G7 etc, the Iran nuclear deal was a much more simple affair with some pretty clear give-and-take.  It also had much more immediate and obvious consequences.  US stops crippling Iran's economy, and in return they agree not to build nukes.  Whether or not it was approved by Congress, the practicalities behind it are obvious.  Future agreements like this are going to be hard to achieve because the US campaign trail and sloganeering is more important than the US honoring its treaties.  It's not like Trump ever provided good rationale for ripping up that deal.  It was Obama's, and terrible, so he scrapped it, and no effort was made to replace it or amend it.  

As you say, Trump's bellicose and off-the-cuff style does get "stuff" done.  Folks laud him for that and it's understandable.  There are consequences, however.  Insulting and undermining traditional allies leads to them drifting away from you, and potentially towards your geo-political enemies if they're more reliable. Ripping up multi-lateral Treaties on a whim is even worse.  Future foreign policy objectives will get increasingly difficult to negotiate, because nobody is going to consider the US as a steady or good-faith partner.  

With his trade dispute efforts, his accomplishments are grossly overstated.  The idea that his COVID-19 is proof of concept for his tariff regime is ludicrous, though I agree that strategic production capacity is important.  The tariffs themselves don't solve this.  The US aluminum industry, for example, isn't coming back as a result.  It can't.  It doesn't have dirt-cheap hydro like Quebec does, which is one of the main input costs.  If you wanted a base-line strategic capacity, pay to have that built and keep those companies in business.  Blanket tariffs were a foolish response that accomplished nothing and cost American business billions.  

True, there were some real concessions that came out of it, but they were minor, and it made it clear to Canada that we need to diversify our exports substantially away from the US so as not to be vulnerable to American whimsy.  There was a better way to get US milk in Canada, I'm sure.  

 

 

Edited by Moonbox

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3 hours ago, Moonbox said:

American foreign policy was different after the Iraq War, I agree.  The "leadership" position, however, isn't a mantle bestowed on it by the Free World.  Rather, it's a matter of circumstance.  The US is, by far, the most economically and militarily powerful country in the world, and makes a point of sticking its nose in everything.  Without any cooperation or support from the rest of the world (traditional so-called allies included), these sorts of activities are more likely to be viewed as bullying or worse. 

 

All the more reason to pull back.  It would be very ironic that the U.S. garners less worldly "cooperation" because it refuses to engage in more shooting wars.   Unlike Clinton, Bushes, or Obama, Trump has not waged new wars to such a degree.  Trump never campaigned to become "leader of the free world" despite expectations that he must be because of "circumstances".   Canada's foreign minister admitted as much when she begged America to keep paying the most in blood and treasure to protect the "post WW2 order".    

 

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The Paris Climate Agreement is a joke and I can at least give credit to Trump to walking away from it.  ... Future agreements like this are going to be hard to achieve because the US campaign trail and sloganeering is more important than the US honoring its treaties.  It's not like Trump ever provided good rationale for ripping up that deal.  It was Obama's, and terrible, so he scrapped it, and no effort was made to replace it or amend it. 

 

Trump didn't need to, as there was ample negative support to exploit.    That's the reason Obama never went to Congress to get such deals approved, as required by constitution (treaties).    Sanctions against Iran has been American policy for nearly 40 years.

 

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As you say, Trump's bellicose and off-the-cuff style does get "stuff" done.  Folks laud him for that and it's understandable.  There are consequences, however.  Insulting and undermining traditional allies leads to them drifting away from you, and potentially towards your geo-political enemies if they're more reliable. Ripping up multi-lateral Treaties on a whim is even worse.  Future foreign policy objectives will get increasingly difficult to negotiate, because nobody is going to consider the US as a steady or good-faith partner. 

 

Trump cannot "rip up" actual treaties for the same reasons he can't make them without Congress.   Changing agreements or exercising notice to withdraw are often provided within treaties (Canada did so for the failed Kyoto Protocol).    In a post Cold War world, there is less of a polarized playing field and nations will openly pursue their own interests, same as the United States.   Turkey is a good example....the U.S. needn't be more faithful than any other nation in that context, shrugging off the less important mantle of leadership in a changing world (e.g. China).

 

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With his trade dispute efforts, his accomplishments are grossly overstated.  The idea that his COVID-19 is proof of concept for his tariff regime is ludicrous, though I agree that strategic production capacity is important.  The tariffs themselves don't solve this.  The US aluminum industry, for example, isn't coming back as a result.  It can't.  It doesn't have dirt-cheap hydro like Quebec does, which is one of the main input costs.  If you wanted a base-line strategic capacity, pay to have that built and keep those companies in business.  Blanket tariffs were a foolish response that accomplished nothing and cost American business billions. 

 

The added cost was a given...the political value is priceless.   Tariffs are provided as part of the WTO regime, Trump just used them to get attention for trade.  Trump's team recognized such opportunities early on, attacking globalism in general, and industrial losses in rust belt states specifically.   It worked.

 

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True, there were some real concessions that came out of it, but they were minor, and it made it clear to Canada that we need to diversify our exports substantially away from the US so as not to be vulnerable to American whimsy.  There was a better way to get US milk in Canada, I'm sure.  

 

I think we and others agree very much on this bottom line....Canada should stop being so dependent on the U.S. economy regardless of who is president.   The only other nation in the world that is so voluntarily vulnerable to one trading partner is Mongolia.

Edited by bush_cheney2004

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5 hours ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

I think we and others agree very much on this bottom line....Canada should stop being so dependent on the U.S. economy regardless of who is president.   The only other nation in the world that is so voluntarily vulnerable to one trading partner is Mongolia.

The main reasons that the US is Canada’s number one export market are the same reasons that Canada is the US’s number one export market: geographic proximity and similarity of economy.  The export volumes are roughly the same in both directions.  You would see the same reasons for the trade relationship between California and the rest of the US. Goods flow to where the demand is easily met and the money is good, as always.

Of course Canada is a different country and, as a smaller country, is more export driven, especially given our resources. Having one country as our main export market puts de facto limitations on our political independence, because we orient so much of our production to the US.  Our military reliance adds to the dependence.  Canada does best on trade with an international orientation beyond North America from a political independence perspective.  We have to get out of our comfort zone and make greater short-term sacrifices for more independence.

On the other hand, the pandemic has shown us the importance of maintaining a more complete domestic economy.  I think under NAFTA and the drift towards greater economic integration with the US, we started to treat the US as our domestic economy.  We have been reminded that we have a border and there are good things about a border, such as providing a barrier to dangerous weapons and viruses.  If we want further independence, for example, militarily, we’re going to have to pay for it.  

Edited by Zeitgeist

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13 minutes ago, Zeitgeist said:

The main reasons that the US is Canada’s number one export market are the same reasons that Canada is the US’s number one export market: geographic proximity and similarity of economy.  The export volumes are roughly the same in both directions.  You would see the same reasons for the trade relationship between California and the rest of the US. Goods flow to where the demand is easily met and the money is good, as always.

 

But there is still a large difference....American investment and ownership between states is different than investment and ownership by foreign (American or Chinese) interests.     Canadian ownership in the U.S. does not rise to the same level, creating a dependency risk for subsidiaries in Canada.  

 

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Of course Canada is a different country and, as a smaller country, is more export driven, especially given our resources.  Having one country as our main export market puts de facto limitations on our political independence, because we orient so much of our production to the US.  Our military reliance adds to the dependence.  Canada does best on trade with an international orientation beyond North America from a political independence perspective.  We have to get out of our comfort zone and make greater short-term sacrifices for more independence.

 

Canada is a large, resource rich nation with a relatively smaller population that cannot extract and leverage value added manufacturing on such a scale.   The guns vs. butter decisions have increasingly led to less investment in the military and less independence.   The huge difference between U.S. and Canadian military spending has only grown larger and more imbalanced.

 

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On the other hand, the pandemic has shown us the importance of maintaining a more complete domestic economy.  I think under NAFTA and the drift towards greater economic integration with the US, we started to treat the US as our domestic economy.  We have been reminded that we have a border and there are good things about a border, such as providing a barrier to dangerous weapons and viruses.  If we want further independence, for example, militarily, we’re going to have to pay for it.  

 

Agreed...the notion of the longest unprotected border in the world has been eroded by several events in the past 20 years, but persists as a mindset for some policy makers.   Mexico, which has displaced a lot of CanAM trade (e.g. automotive), has never had such romantic ideas.

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21 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

But there is still a large difference....American investment and ownership between states is different than investment and ownership by foreign (American or Chinese) interests.     Canadian ownership in the U.S. does not rise to the same level, creating a dependency risk for subsidiaries in Canada.  

 

 

Canada is a large, resource rich nation with a relatively smaller population that cannot extract and leverage value added manufacturing on such a scale.   The guns vs. butter decisions have increasingly led to less investment in the military and less independence.   The huge difference between U.S. and Canadian military spending has only grown larger and more imbalanced.

 

 

Agreed...the notion of the longest unprotected border in the world has been eroded by several events in the past 20 years, but persists as a mindset for some policy makers.   Mexico, which has displaced a lot of CanAM trade (e.g. automotive), has never had such romantic ideas.

Well Canada has its areas of excellence.  Our banks have done well with acquisitions in the US. Same for our pension funds. Our resource firms have done well internationally, but obviously there’s a lot to extract and international firms have played a big part in developing our energy sector.  It’s always a challenge when Canada tries to be all things.  Foreign investment is controversial.  We don’t want to trade dependence on the US for dependence on China.  Homegrown and internationally varied should be the goal.  Our military needs more funding, but when you strip out the US from NATO, Canada’s military funding is middle of the pack.  The US is the outlier on military spending.  The answer lies somewhere in the middle.

The border will stay.  What can always be reviewed are the privileges we afford each other’s citizens when in each other’s countries.  I think more could be done to open that up down the road, but probably not for a while.  

Edited by Zeitgeist

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3 minutes ago, Zeitgeist said:

Well Canada has its areas of excellence.  Our banks have done well with acquisitions in the US. Same for our pension funds. Our resource firms have done well internationally, but obviously there’s a lot to extract and international firms have played a big part in developing our energy sector.  It’s always a challenge when Canada tries to be all things.  Foreign investment is controversial.  We don’t want to trade dependence on the US for dependence on China.  Homegrown and internationally varied should be the goal.  Our military needs more funding, but when you strip out the US from NATO, Canada’s military funding is middle of the pack.  The US is the outlier on military spending.  The answer lies somewhere in the middle.

 

Canada has made these decisions with eyes wide open....there has been no shortage of opposition to growing economic and military dependencies over the past 40 years.   If Trump reduced U.S. military spending to Canadian levels there would be outrage from Canada and other NATO partners, which circles right back to the larger issue of America's role in the world.

Canada is also a very large nation compared to defence spending peers...far easier/cheaper to defend Portugal than Canada.   If the usual arguments and support for military spending in Canada no longer apply (NORAD, NATO, Responsibility to Protect, etc.), then different policies should be developed regardless of Trump.   Other NATO partners are not limited to sole interoperability with U.S. forces.

 

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The border will stay.  What can always be reviewed are the privileges we afford each other’s citizens when in each other’s countries.  I think more could be done to open that up down the road, but probably not for a while.  

 

I don't see that happening for the U.S. as long as Canada is perceived as a gateway for potential threats because of an "open borders" mindset around refugees and immigrants.    The border will thicken before it gets opened up again, if ever.    This started after the Millennium Bomber and 9/11....long before Trump...but global conditions will put even more pressure on borders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

I don't see that happening for the U.S. as long as Canada is perceived as a gateway for potential threats because of an "open borders" mindset around refugees and immigrants.    The border will thicken before it gets opened up again, if ever.    This started after the Millennium Bomber and 9/11....long before Trump...but global conditions will put even more pressure on borders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think we have more to worry about in terms of threats from the US than the reverse, but the eye is in the beholder.  I actually think US insularity is a negative for that country, but again, the perspective seems to depend on your politics.  I think being outward thinking and open have been key ingredients of both countries’ success. Threats of terrorism relate somewhat to foreign relations, access to weapons, and the ability of networks to proliferate and communicate.  I certainly don’t think Canada has become some kind of haven for terrorism, certainly no more so than the US.  I do think the US has to be especially wary of foreign enemies, and that impacts US defence spending.  NATO has certainly contributed towards US defence, even when other member countries weren’t under the same level of threat.  There are reasons why countries make certain spending decisions. Canada has supported a lot of allies’ wars: Crimean War, Boar, First World War, Afghanistan...Some might say, what was in it for Canada?  We understand that’s the deal in being in a defence pact.  Hopefully the US and other NATO allies would come through for us, but I don’t think we can bank on that.  

Edited by Zeitgeist

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6 hours ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

All the more reason to pull back.  It would be very ironic that the U.S. garners less worldly "cooperation" because it refuses to engage in more shooting wars.   Unlike Clinton, Bushes, or Obama, Trump has not waged new wars to such a degree.  Trump never campaigned to become "leader of the free world" despite expectations that he must be because of "circumstances".   Canada's foreign minister admitted as much when she begged America to keep paying the most in blood and treasure to protect the "post WW2 order".    

It's not an expectation.  It's a defacto role that the US chose for itself. If Trump and the US choose to withdraw and turn insular, that's one thing, but then what does that even look like?  Do they actually withdraw and back away from potential conflicts like Iran/Iraq vs Saudi Arabia?  Doubtful.  The fact that no new conflict has presented itself like Kuwait or Bosnia isn't really something you can give Trump credit for either.  

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Trump didn't need to, as there was ample negative support to exploit.    That's the reason Obama never went to Congress to get such deals approved, as required by constitution (treaties).    Sanctions against Iran has been American policy for nearly 40 years.

40+ years, and to what end and to what purpose at this point?  Let's look at the deal on its actual merits rather than just maintaining a status-quo from before I was even born.  Judging by what we've seen over the last 20 years, it's going to be difficult to get any such deals done with how polarized things continue to be between the President and the House.  Trump had ample support to dismantle basically anything Obama did during his term, simply because it was Obama.  It follows the GOP's obstruction of Obama's presidency, which was comically absurd.  

Regardless, real damage has been done here.  Whether a Treaty was ratified by Congress or not, Trump has set the precedent that any such agreements can be withdrawn at a moment's notice and on a whim.  The fact that the President has the power to ram legislation through is a problem on its own, but now the world has been awakened to the fact that Americans are willing to elect a spiteful, ignorant and volatile personality like him to exercise those powers. Yikes.  

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The added cost was a given...the political value is priceless.   Tariffs are provided as part of the WTO regime, Trump just used them to get attention for trade.  Trump's team recognized such opportunities early on, attacking globalism in general, and industrial losses in rust belt states specifically.   It worked.

  Well no doubt he's a brilliant manipulator of political currency.  The problem is that his attack on globalism hasn't actually helped the people he's claiming to do it for.  Part of the problem with his short-sighted brand of thinking is that just saying something is working "tremendously great" doesn't mean it actually did.  Rather than adding manufacturing jobs, Trump's trade action has led to rust-belt job losses and huge uncertainty for US manufacturing.  The Rust Belt continues to bleed jobs, and his policies have made it worse.   

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I think we and others agree very much on this bottom line....Canada should stop being so dependent on the U.S. economy regardless of who is president.   The only other nation in the world that is so voluntarily vulnerable to one trading partner is Mongolia.

Right, but then that doesn't really help anyone but Canada, does it?  Both the US and Canada would have been better off continuing the status quo.  It's one of the largest trade relationships in the world, but it's also one of the most even.  

Edited by Moonbox

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2 minutes ago, Zeitgeist said:

I think we have more to worry about in terms of threats from the US than the reverse, but the eye is in the beholder.  I actually think US insularity is a negative for that country, but again, the perspective seems to depend on your politics.  I think being outward thinking and open have been key ingredients of both countries’ success. Threats of terrorism relate somewhat to foreign relations, access to weapons, and the ability of networks to proliferate and communicate.  I certainly don’t think Canada has become some kind of haven for terrorism, certainly no more so than the US.  I do think the US has to be especially wary of foreign enemies, and that impacts US defence spending.  NATO has certainly contributed towards US defence, even when other member countries weren’t under the same level of threat.  There are reasons why countries make certain spending decisions.  Canada has supported a lot of allies’ wars: Crimean War, Boar, First World War...

 

Canada's current government leader has openly expressed an expectation that Canada is a "post national state", on top of multiculturalism and multilateralism as national policy.   Perhaps America will have to endure Trudeau as long as Canada has to endure Trump.

Canada transitioned from colony and dominion of the British Empire to the post WW2 reality of the replacement superpower right next door.

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1 minute ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

Canada's current government leader has openly expressed an expectation that Canada is a "post national state", on top of multiculturalism and multilateralism as national policy.   Perhaps America will have to endure Trudeau as long as Canada has to endure Trump.

Canada transitioned from colony and dominion of the British Empire to the post WW2 reality of the replacement superpower right next door.

And perhaps soon China.  Best not to be beholden to any foreign power.  

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15 hours ago, Moonbox said:

We can choose neither. 

Just because Trump is standing up to China doesn't mean he isn't a disaster of a human being and an even worse president.  

If Trump hadn't burned so many bridges around the world leading up to this, he wouldn't be such a pariah and folks in Canada, Europe etc might actually listen to him.  International leaders can't trust him or his intentions.  He's so dishonest, petty and mercurial that all anyone can hope to do is stay out of his way and not provoke a tantrum.  

Donald Trump has thrown American diplomacy back decades and China's influence will have grown immensely after his presidency is done (hopefully this year).  The vacuum that US has left behind on rational world leadership is going to get filled somewhere. 

 

I tend to think your right. Where did all this hatred and animosity towards Trump begin. When he first announced his presidency, he stirred up xenophobia of Mexicans to boost his TV ratings. "When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

So essentially he's saying the vast majority of Mexicans are losers

Here's the problem... If he divests trade from China, he needs to find a replacement, and he's too embarrassed to apologize to Mexico. Trump would rather continue to scapegoat Mexico, than end their over-dependence on China.

Edited by ProudConservative

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31 minutes ago, Moonbox said:

It's not an expectation.  It's a defacto role that the US chose for itself. If Trump and the US choose to withdraw and turn insular, that's one thing, but then what does that even look like?  Do they actually withdraw and back away from potential conflicts like Iran/Iraq vs Saudi Arabia?  Doubtful.  The fact that no new conflict has presented itself like Kuwait or Bosnia isn't really something you can give Trump credit for either. 

 

Trump can and will very much take credit for it...as he should.   The U.S. wanted to remain insular before both world wars, but the allied belligerents insisted on getting the Americans on side, with the resulting superpower emerging from a destroyed Europe and Japan.   Implicit in your response is the possible American choice to also pull back, something that NATO and other nations do not want to happen, so there is an expectation (i.e. "Grand Bargain").

 

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40+ years, and to what end and to what purpose at this point?  Let's look at the deal on its actual merits rather than just maintaining a status-quo from before I was even born.  Judging by what we've seen over the last 20 years, it's going to be difficult to get any such deals done with how polarized things continue to be between the President and the House.  Trump had ample support to dismantle basically anything Obama did during his term, simply because it was Obama.  It follows the GOP's obstruction of Obama's presidency, which was comically absurd. 

 

The Iran nuclear deal was roundly criticized in the United States long before Trump.   The previous stance and sanctions were for obvious reasons...regime change in Iran.   Obama bypassed the Congress, adding more political fuel to the dumpster fire.  

 

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Regardless, real damage has been done here.  Whether a Treaty was ratified by Congress or not, Trump has set the precedent that any such agreements can be withdrawn at a moment's notice and on a whim.  The fact that the President has the power to ram legislation through is a problem on its own, but now the world has been awakened to the fact that Americans are willing to elect a spiteful, ignorant and volatile personality like him to exercise those powers. Yikes.  

 

 

Really ?   What do you think happens in Canada when the ruling government changes hands between the Liberals and Conservatives ?   Wholesale changes follow with sweeping policy reversals, that's what.

Trump was elected to break things, just as he promised he would do.    And yes, Americans are more than willing to exercise their constitutional rights regardless of what other nations may think about it, same as their citizens do.

 

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 Well no doubt he's a brilliant manipulator of political currency.  The problem is that his attack on globalism hasn't actually helped the people he's claiming to do it for.  Part of the problem with his short-sighted brand of thinking is that just saying something is working "tremendously great" doesn't mean it actually did.  Rather than adding manufacturing jobs, Trump's trade action has led to rust-belt job losses and huge uncertainty for US manufacturing.  The Rust Belt continues to bleed jobs, and his policies have made it worse.  

 

No, Trump can claim that manufacturing jobs grew more than under Obama.   More corporations and capital were repatriated.   Executive orders and tax legislation cleared away regulation and red tape and increased domestic investment.

https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/479579-trumps-big-reelection-weapon-a-remarkable-manufacturing-jobs-boom

 

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Right, but then that doesn't really help anyone but Canada, does it?  Both the US and Canada would have been better off continuing the status quo.  It's one of the largest trade relationships in the world, but it's also one of the most even.  

 

The Canada - US status quo was just part of global markets and trade that was already changing, and cannot stay the same.  Mexico was eating Canada's lunch long before Trump.     It cannot and will not stay the same, so Canada should pursue interests with this realization.

Edited by bush_cheney2004

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17 minutes ago, Zeitgeist said:

And perhaps soon China.  Best not to be beholden to any foreign power.  

 

Agreed, but IMHO, Canada is not of such a mindset, at least not today.   Nationalism is suppressed as an evil "Americanism".

The current thinking in Canada is resignation to dominance by America or China...or both.

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6 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

Agreed, but IMHO, Canada is not of such a mindset, at least not today.   Nationalism is suppressed as an evil "Americanism".

The current thinking in Canada is resignation to dominance by America or China...or both.

I would call it a negotiation.  No one wants such dependence, but money talks, which is why it’s so hard to stop buying cheap manufactured goods from China and using China’s cheap labour and standards to produce them.  Up the standards and wages through trade rules and you reduce the dependence.

Nationalism is fine as a sense of connection to and pride in one’s origins, but it’s not an economic system.  Before we’re citizens of countries we’re people.  Zero sum politics is a losing political approach in the long run because the slaves eventually rebel.  Prosperity for all is better than prosperity for some.  

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1 minute ago, Zeitgeist said:

I would call it a negotiation.  No one wants such dependence, but money talks, which is why it’s so hard to stop buying cheap manufactured goods from China and using China’s cheap labour and standards to produce them.  Up the standards and wages through trade rules and you reduce the dependence.

 

Trade rules and compliance are two very different things.   And it is not just China, which does not want to remain the world's cheapest manufacturer, as it consolidates supply chains and manufacturing capabilities.    Canada and the U.S. will still have to compete.

 

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Nationalism is fine as a sense of connection to and pride in one’s origins, but it’s not an economic system.  Before we’re citizens of countries we’re people.  Zero sum politics is a losing political approach in the long run because the slaves eventually rebel.  Prosperity for all is better than prosperity for some.  

 

Some people feel that way, others are quick to cry "boycott" country X....even in Canada.

Globalism is under fire around the world because the prosperity has come at a higher price than some are willing to pay.

 

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34 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

Trade rules and compliance are two very different things.   And it is not just China, which does not want to remain the world's cheapest manufacturer, as it consolidates supply chains and manufacturing capabilities.    Canada and the U.S. will still have to compete.

 

 

Some people feel that way, others are quick to cry "boycott" country X....even in Canada.

Globalism is under fire around the world because the prosperity has come at a higher price than some are willing to pay.

 

Good point about compliance.

Much depends on how we measure prosperity.  I think if we can agree on a comprehensive set of indicators, which isn’t easy, we would probably find that while we may not be earning as much adjusted for inflation as we once did, our money buys more of certain things and our gains in many other areas, such as health and communications, have increased our prosperity to unprecedented levels.  However, we are seeing the impact of our crowded global society on the environment in the pandemic, well the impact on ourselves really.  This setback will require a big readjustment of our systems.  It seems like a step backwards right now, but we may make an evolutionary leap that brings more prosperity.  Our ideas of prosperity will change, however.  

Edited by Zeitgeist

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4 minutes ago, Zeitgeist said:

Much depends on how we measure prosperity.  I think if we can agree on a comprehensive set of indicators, which isn’t easy, we would probably find that while we may not be earning as much adjusted for inflation as we once did, our money buys more of certain things and our gains in many other areas, such as health and communications, have increased our prosperity to unprecedented levels.  However, we are seeing the impact of our crowded global society on the environment in the pandemic, well the impact on ourselves really.  This setback will require a big readjustment of our systems.  It seems like a step backwards right now, but we may make an evolutionary leap that brings more prosperity.  Our ideas of prosperity will change, however.  

 

In the 1990's, the motto for moving offshore was to "Think Globally...Execute Locally".   Various issues and concerns are shifting expectations back to more local control and sourcing.  So yes, whether or not that can be realized depends to a large degree on how much we are willing to change.

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