Nobody's kid sister
By Jim Poling
Published March 15, 2018
The United States just isn’t going to put up with it any more. Tired of forever being screwed over by beady-eyed Canadians and sleazy Mexican drug lords.
Bad, very bad, deals with Canadians and Mexicans have seen factories close and companies relocate out of the U.S. Hundreds of thousands of American jobs lost.
Canadians in particular are slick and brutal, taking advantage of a country 10 times its size. Take, take, take and give nothing in return.
It has to stop, and it will stop with a better North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which has been a disaster for the poor Americans.
All that is the American bully whine we’ve been hearing since NAFTA renegotiations began last summer.
What really needs to stop is the American grandstanding, manipulating and bullying calculated at getting a NAFTA deal favourable only to them. What also needs to stop is the attitude that Canadians are northern nobodies living in snow holes, fortunate to exist in the shadow of a really smart and generous southern neighbour.
The latest U.S. manipulation of the NAFTA talks are the tariffs on steel (25 per cent) and aluminum (10 per cent). Canada will not be subject to those crushing tariffs – if it signs a NAFTA agreement that the U.S. demands.
That’s not negotiation; that’s gangster-style coercion.
This NAFTA nonsense has been going on too long. It is obvious that the U.S. is not interested in a balanced deal that is fair and that works for all three North American partners. They want a deal totally in their favour.
It’s time to end this waste of time. Usher the American negotiators to the door and boot them into the street.
There have been predictions of disaster for Canada if the 25-year-old NAFTA is not renewed. The sky will fall.
Perhaps it will, perhaps it will not.
The Conference Board of Canada predicts a 0.5 per cent economic decline if NAFTA is ended and a loss of about 85,000 jobs. That is a modest impact that would be followed by some recovery.
Whatever, Canadians would survive. We always have and incidentally, while surviving we have contributed enormously to U.S. success in many fields.
We have had a large presence in their news and entertainment industry: Sudbury boy Alex Trebek (Jeopardy), Donald Sutherland, Peter Jennings (ABC News), David Frum, Justin Bieber. This list stretches beyond memory capabilities.
In sport, we gave the Americans hockey, lacrosse, and yes, baseball and basketball. And, not to forget the board game Trivial Pursuit.
In technology and invention it was us who came up with the telephone, walkie-talkies, snowmobiles, alkaline batteries, Canadarm and the Robertson screwdriver. A female Canadian invented the Wonderbra.
Millions of American children have been nourished on Pablum and peanut butter, both invented by Canadians. In the field of medicine, we created insulin, child resistance medicine bottles, the heart pacemaker, open heart surgery, T-cell receptors and other major steps in cancer immunology.
A country with those successes, though never bragged about, should be able to get along nicely without a one-sided NAFTA deal. There are many other countries with which to do fair trade deals. Also, other places to sell our oil, which has been flowing to the U.S. at bargain basement prices.
Our federal government should not cave in to the U.S. coercion on NAFTA.
Chrystia Freeland, our foreign affairs minister, strikes me as someone who is not easily pushed around. I don’t know much about her except what I see, hear and read in the news. I do know she is a former financial journalist once based in Moscow.
She also is the author of the best seller Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else.
She is banned from Russia because she wrote pieces sharply critical of Russian president Vladimir Putin. (That alone puts her several heads taller than Humpty Trumpty).
Hopefully Freeland and her team will deliver the message that Canadians are not simpleton drawers of water and hewers of wood. We’ve got good products and good brains for doing business in the much bigger world outside the U.S.
We’re all grown up now, and won’t tolerate being treated like someone’s little sister.