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Trudeau U.S. visit delivers wake-up call about new North American reality

FJAG

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... We need more trade options than the USA. ...
Actually I wasn't addressing trade options as much as I was addressing a need to become self sufficient in the manufacturing sector. I see achieving that that by initially making it easier for the manufacturing sector to thrive through cheaper energy and unbundling barriers to industry. Current green energy policies and over regulation and taxation of virtually every industry makes that difficult.

If we can get back into manufacturing quality goods at reasonable prices so that our own population prefers them to outside goods then we're ahead of the game. If we need to bolster that with some very specific tariffs to protect fledgling industries then so be it. Right now its virtually impossible to find anything in my household that isn't manufactured in China. My car has a "J" on its VIN because we don't manufacture that particular model or one of equal quality in Canada. Yup. I'm part of the problem that a good leadership needs to work at fixing.

If we can win over the country with good domestically produced products then we're half way there and trade will follow naturally. The trouble is that we've lost the ability to be competitive. Displacing China as a trading partner with the US or the EU is a fool's game. They're all equally unreliable and eventually will throw us under the bus. The global economy only works well as long as there is reasonable cooperation amongst nations and cooperation within a game of cut throat economic competition is in short supply.

Normally I'm a fan of free enterprise but things need to change. For much of the last century we had a relatively even trade balance which became a surplus in the 1990s until about 2009 when we fell into a deficit. The trouble is that trade is still a very large component of our GDP and our economy would have a rough time without it even when its in a deficit situation.

Its not an easy problem to solve and lord knows that governments with their ham fisted ways are probably the bluntest tool that we have. That said, things need to change.

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Brad Sallows

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Neither surplus nor deficit of BoT is completely good or bad.

Pros and Cons of Trade Deficit.

When reading the list of disadvantages bear in mind Canada is not a developing country, most service jobs are not easily outsourced, foreign investment builds Canada as well as domestic investment, and countries with owners with large holdings in Canada in principle will be less willing to pick fights.
 

RangerRay

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Running to China because the US is an unreliable trade partner is like jumping from the frying pan to the fire. China would be reliable so long as we kowtowed to them and chucked our liberal democratic values out the window, which we do too much of nowadays anyways.

We should be expanding trade with other Pacific Rim power houses like Japan, South Korea, India, Taiwan and Australia. China can get bent.
 

Altair

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Running to China because the US is an unreliable trade partner is like jumping from the frying pan to the fire. China would be reliable so long as we kowtowed to them and chucked our liberal democratic values out the window, which we do too much of nowadays anyways.

We should be expanding trade with other Pacific Rim power houses like Japan, South Korea, India, Taiwan and Australia. China can get bent.
CPTPP members.

Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Taiwan would be nice, South Korea would be nice, but I don't foresee increased trade with them being able to offset any potential trade disruptions with the USA. Every little bit helps though, so Canada definitely should be exploring increased ties with South Korea, India and Taiwan, but the only economy with the potential to really move the needle in terms of export dependency is China.

Could China absolutely disrupt the Canadian economy like they are trying to do with Australia? Yes. But we have the Americans trying to do the same thing, so it almost doesn't matter.
 

The Bread Guy

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... trading more with China seems like a bad political move ...
Not so much when you consider (as some way smarter than me have said) how addicted many, many people are to relatively cheap "made in China" products. People complain about high prices now - how many are willing to pay more? Maybe significantly more? I'm not a China fan by any means, but this IS a factor to consider.
 

MilEME09

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Stolen from Steven Colbert

Seriously though we have options against China, coal is one of them. I'm China goal prices have gone through the roof because they stopped buying it from Australia, if we blocked thermal coal to China, the domestic pressure would be huge, and the impact on the Chinese economy would be great as well
 

Good2Golf

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Seriously though we have options against China, coal is one of them. I'm China goal prices have gone through the roof because they stopped buying it from Australia, if we blocked thermal coal to China, the domestic pressure would be huge, and the impact on the Chinese economy would be great as well
But we won’t, and we’ll also give in to Huawei, because the PM is beholden to a communist dictator. That some think that cozying up to a communist dictatorial regime is a better plan than resolving some issues we have with our largest trading partner proves how much some people are beguiled by hollow words and the occasional tear or two.
 

Altair

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But we won’t, and we’ll also give in to Huawei, because the PM is beholden to a communist dictator. That some think that cozying up to a communist dictatorial regime is a better plan than resolving some issues we have with our largest trading partner proves how much some people are beguiled by hollow words and the occasional tear or two.
It's cute that you think Canada can get Americans to change course.

We just finished renegotiating NAFTA with them, only for them to decide to lock us out of their electrical vehicle market.

Naive.
 

lenaitch

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Not so much when you consider (as some way smarter than me have said) how addicted many, many people are to relatively cheap "made in China" products. People complain about high prices now - how many are willing to pay more? Maybe significantly more? I'm not a China fan by any means, but this IS a factor to consider.

I remember reading somewhere a while back what a typical smartphone would cost if is was built in NA with our labour and input costs. I forget the figure but it paled the cost of the latest-at-the-time Iphone by a significant margin. Regardless of source, people seem to need to latest and great, and when you only keep stuff for a year or two, cheap wins.
 

Kirkhill

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I remember a time growing up as a young boy in Toronto in the 60s when southern Ontario was the heart of Canada's manufacturing industry fueled by cheap hydroelectric power and local steel production. The country was a storehouse of raw materials. Any imports from China or Japan were in the cheap toys and trinkets category.

We've taken our eyes off the ball for a very long time and policy after policy has crippled that industry. Whether its the bundles of red tape which makes it difficult to start up and continue to run a business; the ever increasing costs of energy; the increasing labour costs; or our inability to compete on the quality of our products, we've fallen back to our exports being mostly resource-based rather than manufactured goods. That has always been a death knell for local industry going back to when cheap American grain destroyed the native British grain industry notwithstanding the Corn Laws.

Trudeau is the last in a long line of politicians incapable of dealing with a changing world. My guess is that he is not challenging China simply because China could lash out economically against Canada much more harshly than we could lash back. If we wish to cement our much more critical relationship with the US then we definitely need to do so. Baring Huawei is critical to that. I presume we haven't so far because the large telecoms are voluntarily staying away from them probably under some backroom pressure. It's a signal we need to send, however.

More importantly, we need to be super careful with our Green Energy programs. At the moment they are part of a Pollyanna day dream that will do nothing but lead to even higher energy costs which will cripple the few manufacturing industries we have left. If we want to lessen our dependency on fossil fuels we desperately need cheap electrical energy and I can't see beyond SMRs for that currently. They should be a government priority together with a sound plan for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel. If we want to have any possibility of reclaiming our manufacturing sector then that is a route we need to go.

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GE - DeLaval - Outboard Marine - Fisher Gauge - Westclox - Johnson & Johnson - Quaker

All major factories in Peterborough when we arrived in 1966. All gone except Quaker Oats.

The took with them Dominion, KMart, Zellers, Sears, Eatons, Simpson-Sears. And a whole bunch of bars, dairies and churches.
 

Kirkhill

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Good job, you saved the energy industry. What do we do about cars and car parts, planes and plane parts, food products, raw materials, pharmaceuticals?

As much as Alberta (And NE BC - the dry bit, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland) complains about revenue sharing from the sale of their energy resources wouldn't you rather have some revenues to squabble over? Money doesn't buy happiness but it lack seems to generate a lot of misery.
 

MilEME09

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As much as Alberta (And NE BC - the dry bit, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland) complains about revenue sharing from the sale of their energy resources wouldn't you rather have some revenues to squabble over? Money doesn't buy happiness but it lack seems to generate a lot of misery.
We don't even own most of the resources any more, much is owned by foreign companies, both friendly and not so friendly. Who then refine, manufacture and sell the finished goods back to us.
 

YZT580

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Canada isn't the best place to grow oranges.

and cutting trade that do forces labour like China means more stuff sourced from places like Vietnam. That industry isn't coming home. Meanwhile there is a large market for our exports that suddenly hates us more, making it harder to push diversification from the American economy. Vietnam isn't buying our stuff, I can assure you that.
no but we grow peaches, apples, cherries, plums and most of the other soft fruit. Canned soft fruit that can be grown and is grown here comes from Mexico and China. There are no canneries east of the Rockies. I have no idea whether they exist in BC though. The price from Viet Nam will be such that with decent energy costs a Canadian company can compete. We may not be shipping as much stateside but they are still buying a hell of a lot more than the Chinese are. They are strictly a 'take' nation.
 

Haggis

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Maybe not personally, but he has people that do.

As a glaring example, look at the May 1st, 2020 gun ban by OIC and Bill C-21 from the last Parliament. Every potential loophole discussed on social media pages was closed by the OIC and C-21. Every opposing talking point mentioned in pro-gun groups was addressed in the accompanying announcements. It's almost like we (the firearms community) wrote the OIC and C-21 for him.

We know he governs based on public opinion. And it would be disingenuous to think his staff don't cull forums like this for ideas on what opposition to his policies might look like.
 

Halifax Tar

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Maybe not personally, but he has people that do.

As a glaring example, look at the May 1st, 2020 gun ban by OIC and Bill C-21 from the last Parliament. Every potential loophole discussed on social media pages was closed by the OIC and C-21. Every opposing talking point mentioned in pro-gun groups was addressed in the accompanying announcements. It's almost like we (the firearms community) wrote the OIC and C-21 for him.

We know he governs based on public opinion. And it would be disingenuous to think his staff don't cull forums like this for ideas on what opposition to his policies might look like.

I think with firearms he's not governing based on public opinion, he's controling the narrative to steer the public in the way he wants so he can be seen to be governing to public opinion.
 

daftandbarmy

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'Southeast Asia'. Depending on how you scope it out that covers about a billion people in dozens of different countries.

That reminds me of a Henry Kissinger comment that went something like "If I want to talk to Europe who do I call?"

We'll need 10 years to do a really good job at that starting with getting our energy and other raw materials, which is the key thing that Asian customers want from us, to tidewater reliably and cheaply.

Meanwhile our crappy, fragile industrial/supply chain infrastructure on the West Coast was recently wiped out by a heavy rainstorm similar to the monsoons that Asians deal with every year during monsoon season.
 

Altair

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'Southeast Asia'. Depending on how you scope it out that covers about a billion people in dozens of different countries.

That reminds me of a Henry Kissinger comment that went something like "If I want to talk to Europe who do I call?"

We'll need 10 years to do a really good job at that starting with getting our energy and other raw materials, which is the key thing that Asian customers want from us, to tidewater reliably and cheaply.

Meanwhile our crappy, fragile industrial/supply chain infrastructure on the West Coast was recently wiped out by a heavy rainstorm similar to the monsoons that Asians deal with every year during monsoon season.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations

Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Some of those nations are already in CPTPP so it might not be hard of a deal to get a CPTPP like deal with ASEAN
 

daftandbarmy

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Another example of Trudeau shooting himself in both our feet.

It's astonishing, and irresponsible, that he would say something like that right after Biden kicked him/ us in the metaphorical junk....



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