Thursday, June 28, 2018

Canada and Trade

Is there an advantage to all of this tariff threat against Canada by the United States? Perhaps there is one substantial one - improvement of trade between the provinces. One can start to feel the "Buy Canadian" atmosphere in the stores these days. We still have to buy a lot of American goods but we are looking for Canadian alternatives instead of just loading up the cart with the products that are close at hand as we rush in to do our shopping. As the prices climb because of tariffs it will make hydroponic vegetable growing more profitable here in Canada and lessen our dependence on American produce coming across the border next winter. Then there is free trade with Europe and the TPP as these two large trading agreements start to take hold. The biggest and most important happening in all of this is to weaken our dependence on the United States both as a provider of products and as a market for nearly 75% of our exports. Most importantly we must get the pipeline built. Get the oil to tidewater so that we can sell it at a more reasonable price instead of practically giving it away to the United States.

President Trump's style of bargaining is the school yard bully and he will keep it up. While he is doing that Canada will become a stronger more independent country with trade barriers at the provincial level disappearing.

Would there be any advantage to us to just ignore the tariff as some are commenting? Not sure on that really as I am more of a mind that not matching tariff for tariff shows weakness and we are not a weak country. We are small in numbers but we can take care of ourselves. President Trump is a bully. President Trump complains we do not spend enough money on armaments. I am left to ponder just why do we need to have military equipment beyond what is needed to help people in our own country (and fulfill our NATO duties)? I never used to think that way but I doubt that Russia is going to invade us or China for that matter. The only time we have ever been invaded was by the United States and later the Fenian Raids coming in from Upper New York State. We were not even attacked during World War I or World War II. We went to the aid of Europe without actually being attacked.  If we need military supplies then we can just manufacture them as needed.

So what do we do if this continues to escalate? Well a lot of American produce that comes north is going to suffer. Their oversupply has always come our way mostly because of our very short growing season. If President Trump overprices that with his tariffs and our need to match these tariffs because one should never let a schoolyard bully win then we can just grow our food hydroponically.

A more independent Canada is only to our benefit. The old way worked very well for North America. One can just adopt a wait and see attitude. I wish the best for Americans as our neighbours and friends but I wonder if their President is just destroying their lives in the long run. The stories of the Depression were dreadful to hear. Why dont they just adopt the Farm Management Systems we use here. Our farmers are happy; they make money and none of their produce is wasted for the most part. Vital food supplies like milk, butter and eggs are definitely different from luxury items. They need to be protected.

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