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Friday, April 03, 2020

President Trump: A Reliable Trading Partner?


What kind of person refuses to help his neighbour, especially when both neighbours depend upon each other for essential survival?

President Trump became that kind of person when he issued this edict to 3M yesterday to stop sending essential protective medical gear to Canada for use in fighting the global Covid-19 pandemic. I believe he is applying this order (under his invocation of the provisions of the Defense Production Act) to all U.S. companies and all medical equipment, not just to 3M and not just masks. (I cried when I saw the headlines this morning when I got up...as a Canadian who is immunocompromised and currently battling a lung infection due to COPD-related issues, this hit me especially hard.)

Canada, Mexico and the U.S. spent months renegotiating the previous NAFTA agreement, and eventually all leaders and governments signed the new USMCA agreement relating to the tri-lateral trade of goods and services...all at the insistence of Mr. Trump, who was so anxious to strike a new trade deal. Canada negotiated in good faith on the assumption that, once signed, it would be implemented.

With the onslaught of the global Covid-19 pandemic, the three leaders agreed to continue to allow the free flow of essential goods and services among the three countries and across their respective borders, while shutting down all non-essential travel to try and contain the spread of the virus.

The President is deliberately endangering the lives of Canadian health care workers and Canadians by breaking this essential flow of medical goods. The ramifications of this could, unintentionally, boomerang back onto the U.S. due to, first, the loss of production of essential reciprocal goods and services, and, then, once the pandemic has abated somewhat, other Canadian goods and services upon which Americans rely for their day to day lives, because of the loss of Canadian lives in those important fields. American lives could, ultimately, also be lost...he has not thought this through very well, as the consequences could be exponentially multiplied and severe.

Mr. Trump would not only have the blood of Canadians on his hands, but Americans, as well. There is a special place in hell for bullies in leadership roles, and he leads the pack with regard to this order. He deserves no respect, inasmuch as he does not even respect his own people, let alone his neighbours. Nor does he act in good faith when negotiating trade deals. He proved that, along with his gross incompetence, yesterday.

The President has proven that the U.S. cannot be trusted as a reliable trading partner for essential services and supplies during this medical crisis. Canada will have no alternative but to look to other nations to establish a reliable flow of these essential items...but such help will likely be too late, if at all, and many lives will be lost in the meantime.

He claims to be a Christian and to leave no one behind...but has proven otherwise, as he has condemned many people, including Americans, to an unnecessary hardship and death. He does not deserve to be the leader, nor the military Commander-in-Chief, of any country...and deserves no respect. His legacy will be tarnished with this grossly inhumane episode.

P.S. Finally, I mean no disrespect to my American "cousins" by my rantings...they, in no way, reflect how I feel about you and for the gratitude that I have for all that our two countries have shared over many years.

I was trying to highlight the importance of ensuring that all these essential goods and services continue to flow between our countries, especially during this crisis, since they and their ingredients are so intertwined...e.g., 1000s of Canada's nurses travel back and forth across the border into the U.S. every day to help out in the U.S. health care system and hospitals. Also, Canada supplies the materials needed (from our many pulp and paper mills) to make the N95 masks, and we supply gloves and test kits.

If our people die because Mr. Trump refuses to send us any masks that are superfluous to their needs, then we won't be able to continue with our support because we won't have the manpower...he really hasn't thought this through.

Furthermore, if he continues to turn his back on Canada and other countries that need help in this urgent crisis, then their leaders will have no choice but to look to source their medical equipment from another supplier(s)...and China is just sitting there waiting with open arms, ready to take America's place, not only in this instance, but in meeting their future needs (by supplying other goods and services beyond what they currently provide), as well.

The President really hasn't thought this through, or looked at the longer-term consequences that isolating his country from the rest of the world would bring...but, no doubt, President Xi has and has likely prepared many plans for many scenarios for many months/years to come. And, I wouldn't underestimate Mr. Xi's resolve or laser focus on actualizing his vision in due course.

I REPEAT...President Trump really hasn't thought things through...not only with respect to this pandemic, but to his entire "America First" agenda.

There has to be a balance in all things, lest total chaos ensue for many years to come...resulting in a gradual shift of power from the U.S. to China.

In the meantime, may everyone be safe and stay healthy during this crisis and beyond.

* UPDATE April 6...

Thank you 3M and President Trump!...😊

I hope such reciprocal trading can continue between neighbours during the course of this crisis...and in the long run...there is honour in so doing.

N.B. Read this CityNews article at this link