Marco Levytsky, National Affairs Editor.
Amid the turmoil that has emerged from the looming, mutually destructive trade war that U.S. President Donald Trump has decided to inflict upon our two nations, one person has emerged as a shining star, and that is our own Ukrainian Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs – Chrystia Freeland.
Chrystia’s response to Trump’s illegal tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, announced under the bizarre pretext that Canada poses a “security threat” to the United States has been thoughtful, measured, and strategically calculated to inflict particular harm on those swing states that voted Trump into power in 2016. ”We are acting very much in sorrow, not in anger,” Freeland said in announcing $16.6-billion worth of retaliatory tariffs on dozens of U.S. products.
“This is a perfectly reciprocal action,” the minister noted. “It is a dollar for dollar response.”
But, she added, Canada’s tariffs can be removed just as soon as Trump decides to lift his. “It is absolutely imperative that common sense should prevail,” she said.
But there is the crux of the problem. Words like “common sense” have absolutely no meaning for Donald Trump.
If it wasn’t bad enough that the two sides are so unevenly matched – the population of the United States is almost ten times that of Canada and its GDP is 13 times as high – but Minister Freeland has to deal with a narcissistic egomaniac who feels the need to rewrite any previous agreements because any deal he himself did not achieve is “a terrible deal”, the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in particular, being “the single worst trade deal ever approved in this country”.
Yet when reaching his own deals – in particular ones that have to do with the world’s most brutal dictators, Trump has proved himself to be an incompetent, bumbling baboon.
Take, for example, the much-ballyhooed agreement with North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-un. Aside from giving Kim the much-needed legitimacy the “little rocket man” so craved, Trump decided to scrap the long-standing military exercises with South Korea, without even bothering to inform South Korea of his intentions.
The US had previously ruled out such a move on the grounds that the exercises were a key element of its military alliance with Seoul and deterrent against North Korea, but when asked what was different now, Trump had the audacity to proclaim this was due to his instincts as a dealmaker.
What Trump supposedly got in return was some vague North Korean promise to denuclearize. Yet, within nine days of this agreement, satellite images captured by 38 North, a prominent North Korea monitoring group, showed that North Korea has made rapid improvements to the infrastructure at its Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center – a facility used to produce weapons-grade fissile material, casting even more doubt upon Kim’s pledge to denuclearize. As one commentator put it “if you are planning to demolish your house, will you be making upgrades to your kitchen?”
And the worst is yet to come. On July 16 Trump plans to meet with the most powerful dictator on the planet – Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Three weeks prior to the summit, the Moron of the White House has already capitulated to the Crocodile of the Kremlin.
Speaking with reporters on June 29, Trump declined to rule out recognizing Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. “We’re going to have to see,” he explained. Trump gave a similar answer when asked whether he would consider lifting U.S. sanctions on Russia which were imposed over the annexation. “We’ll see what Russia does,” Trump said.
Were Trump to actually recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea, this would be the biggest blow any U.S. President could deliver to the post-World War II order in Europe. It would add an even further disgrace upon the United States to the already present disgrace when, after exerting intense pressure upon Ukraine to give up its nuclear weapons in return for security of its sovereignty, then failing to prevent this violation of the country’s sovereignty, its president will actually give official recognition to this violation of the country’s sovereignty.
But then, what else is new? Whether Trumps acts the way he does simply because he is an idiot, or because Vladimir Putin has some compromising hold upon him, the end result is the same. Trump’s actions serve to fulfill Putin’s wildest dreams, while simultaneously inflicting severe damage upon his closest allies.
And it is not only Canada that will suffer from these illegal tariffs imposed by Trump. So will the United States. This is something even the White House is well aware of. An internal analysis by the White House Council of Economic Advisers has concluded that a trade war with Canada will hurt economic growth in the United States. The Presidential Administration has attempted to keep the lid on this analysis, but the New York Times has made its contents public.
It is encouraging to see Canadians of all political stripes rally behind our government in its battle to preserve our vital interests. And it is most encouraging to see we have such a capable Foreign Affairs Minister who has taken the Team Canada lead upon herself in such a resolute manner.
As for our friends south of the border, we can only hope and pray that they give Trump the relentless drubbing he so richly deserves in the upcoming fall mid-term elections.