Economic nationalism on the rise in Canada?
A new poll shows Canadians want our country to confront the United States if they attempt to impose tariffs on us, even if that means a trade war with our largest export market.
The poll, conducted by Nanos and first reported by the Globe & Mail, shows 58% of Canadians support a trade war with the United States if the Trump Administration imposes tariffs on Canada.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has been meeting with members of the US Government, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. While there, Freeland has emphasized the importance of Canada-US trade, including the fact that over two-thirds of American states count Canada as their largest trading partner.
Poor decisions have left Canada vulnerable to the Trump Administration
Unfortunately, Canada goes into NAFTA renegotiations in a very tough spot. Decades of poor decisions by Canadian governments have left us tremendously vulnerable, and US President Donald Trump seems keen on exploiting vulnerabilities everywhere.
Our domestic market is constrained by excessive taxes (which will only get worse from a carbon tax) which decreases the purchasing power of Canadians and forces us to be even more dependent on exports.
We have also severely underfunded our military, which has cost us jobs and potential innovation, while also making us dependent on the US for our national defence – giving them another source of leverage over us.
Additionally, our infrastructure has been neglected for many years. Despite big election pledges, the current government has failed to actually get many projects going, meaning jobs and future economic growth is being lost, even as billions of dollars of taxpayers money is wasted.
All of this adds up, and means Canada goes into trade talks with the US playing a relatively weak hand. That said, a Canada-US trade war could be a chance for Canada to assert ourselves, and give us the impetus to actually build up our own economy at home, rather than depend on the whims of other nations.
If Canadian economic nationalism is the result of tensions with the US, that would be a good thing.
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