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October 27, 2017 7:20 pm

US border tax aimed squarely at Canada

Monday, January 16, 2017 @ 5:45 AM

There has been much furor and controversy over the last while about president-elect Donald Trump’s threat to penalize any US company that attempts to move operations to another country.  Now we have learned on Friday, January 13th that Trump’s threat also applies to auto companies moving some or all of their operations to Canada.  This will be part of a “border adjustment tax” applied to auto products imported into the US.

Sean Spicer, spokesman for Donald Trump, stated that “’When a company that’s in the U.S. moves to a place, whether it’s Canada or Mexico, and any other country seeking to put U.S. workers at a disadvantage’, then the incoming U.S. president ‘is going to do everything he can to deter that’.” (1)

Presumably, this penalty will apply to other Canadian industries not just auto.  What would be the result of this new policy?  After all, many Canadian companies in different industrial sectors have operations in the US, and many US companies have operations in Canada.  And some companies are “North American” in their scope.  Aside from all the chaos this penalty will cause, the outcome would be a strong tendency for industrial and manufacturing operations in Canada to drastically decline over time and those in the US to increase (at Canada’s expense).

Indeed, the same threat has been applied to Mexico and is already having an effect.  For example, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has frankly stated that the company may end all operations in Mexico if the Trump tariffs are too high and, instead, keep production in the US.  Canada now faces exactly the same threat.

This, of course, fits in with former US senator Rick Santorum’s recent comment that “We (the US) are going to be aggressively going after jobs that are high tech and other types of manufacturing jobs and a lot of those are up in Canada.” (2)

It was always a deception that so-called “free trade” actually existed between Canada and the US, as evidenced by the longstanding Softwood Lumber dispute.  In fact, like the other side of a coin, protectionism was always there.  The difference now is that Trump is dramatically ramping up the protectionist side.

All of this calls into question Canada’s trading relationship with the US, including the original Free Trade Agreement as well as NAFTA.  It also exposes the “North American project” of continentalism, i.e. putting Canada under US economic, political and military domination, as a trap and a disaster for Canada.

The Trump administration is threatening both Canada and Mexico with the tearing up of NAFTA unless it gets its way.  It’s time for Canada to call Trump’s bluff.  We need to move towards a more self-reliant economy and seek trade arrangements based on mutual benefit.  That means we need our own nation-building project, one that is not hopelessly entangled with an increasingly erratic and aggressive US.

Peter Ewart is a columnist and writer based in Prince George, British Columbia.  He can be reached at: peter.ewart@shaw.ca


  • Olorunnipa, Toluse. “Trump team signals auto border tax could also hit Canada.”    January 13, 2017.
  • Ewart, Peter. “Will the Trump administration view Canada as its 21st Century colony?” 250 News.  November 21, 2016.


Sending our substitute teacher up against a billionaire, isn’t going to end well. Maybe JT’s wife could step in so we have a pair of balls at the meeting?

If he’s a ‘feminist’, is she a ‘masculinist’? Transgenderism gone wild!

Maybe if he wore his Taqiyah to the meeting, that would show Trump who is boss.

Canada was not handcuffed, blindfolded, and subjected to waterboarding going into these trade agreements over the years. We went in with eyes wide open, and with the intent on making a pot full of money.

We are now tied hand and foot with the Americans, and of course we have not done much to find any alternative trade agreements any place else in the world. We of course export raw materials to China/Japan, etc; however even these commodities are subject to stiff competition, and in order to stay in the game, we practically have to give our resources away, at least that’s the case with LNG.

So what do we do.?? I agree with Peter that we need our own stand alone nation building projects, however I do not see any political leaders, or business leaders in Canada with the political, or business, acumen to take on such a task.

Canada has allowed itself to take the road of least resistance over the years, which was to put all our eggs in the US basket. The chickens have now come home to roost, and we will have to pay the piper.

If nothing else a good knock it down and drag it out trade war with the USA might build some character in Canadians, which is sorely needed.

We will get our first indication of how this situation will unravel as the Softwood Lumber issue goes forward. We stand to lose a lot of jobs if we lose the softwood fight.

    Palopu I agree with you on this 100%.

    Good thing that the Liberals just finished signing the free trade agreement with the EU !

    Trump said he notices all the Mercedes cars on the roads in the USA (interview with German BILD magazine). He says the Germans are not fair because they do not buy Chevrolets (in Germany)! Freedom of choice, Sir!

    He does not mention that Ford and GM (Opel) produce cars in Germany and other European countries, for many decades! Germans buy hundreds of thousands of Ford and Opel(GM) vehicles every year! I believe he hasn’t got a clue what he is talking about!

    How is the TPP coming along?

Bahahaha…. Now those 2 comments are funny all day long, I don’t care who you are !!!!

“I do not see any political leaders, or business leaders in Canada with the political, or business, acumen to take on such a task.”

You mean like that flop, Trump, south of us who thinks he can do it all if he just hold onto their balls or whatevers?

    That is Pee-resident erect Trump, after all many people are saying that he won the wee-lection last November.

    I no longer wonder about his hair color and texture. Clairol will introduce a new hair color on Friday called “Trump Moscow Ritz Carlton Blonde?”

      So pretty hair is why you voted for trudeau, okay then.

      Do you have that little understanding about the electoral process on this side of the 49th?

      In Canada unless a person is a resident of the riding in which the leader is running then one cannot cast a vote directly for the head of any political party. As a resident of Prince George voting for Trudeau would be impossible.

      One could also become a member of a political party and have a say in who will lead but that is a step removed from a general election.

      FYI- I voted for the sitting member of my PG riding in the last federal election. See if you can figure that one out.

      So sparrow are you saying no one voted for dear leader? Yes technically you maybe right but you are also wrong.

      Those who voted for the Liberal party voted for the party in power this time around. The party decides who the leader is or will be. In fact, the leader can resign, become ill, die or whatever and the party will vote for a new leader.

      In the USA a predetermined system is in place which goes from president to vice president to speaker of the house, president of the senate and then the cabinet beginning with secretary of state, etc.

      No election involved in any political body or temporary leader of the nation. It is automatic …. designed for a nation which is constantly at war which may prevent ordinary governance processes.

      To equate one system to the other is ludicrous.

    Flop, Trump, ya well in case you missed it, beat his rivals, for the nomination. Beat the Republicans. Beat the democrates. Beat the heavily biased liberal left media, beat the Clinton mafia. Got the money changers of the world worried. Beat the globalists like George Soros.

    I guess gopg you consider your self some sort of elitist and deplore the deplorables.

      Trump is a joke of a person. He is a Carney Barker who thinks he can run the world. He is is very dangerous person to be a president because he has absolutely no diplomatic experience.

      Watch China …. watch Russia …. they will make minced meat of him.

    Trump is a dofus. I mean just what I said.

      Ya but a very smart and cagey dofus. Going to be quite a show. I have my popcorn supply in.

      Hope you have your nuclear blast goggles ready too.

      Not cagey … just a bully in the sandbox of the world.

And harpo and industry did a great job on the last round sold out at 10pm Thrusday and the world trade organization announced their ruling 9am on Friday in favor of Canada.

    Bilions of dollars gift to the USA! Thanks, Steve!

    Everyone knew that Canada would get a favorable ruling from the WTO.

    This American action against Canada is about restricting Canadian lumber into the USA so that they can drive the price up and make some money. If they lose the ruling so what, they still come out on top.

    It takes 4 or 5 years to go through all the process’s and by then the damage is done. Canadians will have to make less profits if we get duties applied to Canadian Lumber, however at the end of the day, we could get some or most of this money back if we get another favorable ruling from the WTO.

    Round and round it goes.

I am just thankful this is a Federal matter, to be negotiated between two countries. If this softwood lumber agreement were provincial jurisdiction, like our natural gas, high school Christy would have ended up giving our lumber and logs away!

    ‘high school Christy’

    Name calling again … you cannot resist it!!! It is in your nature.

      Not really name calling, its called a title, or descriptor. When some one finishes their Doctorate degree they are called Doctor ________ (insert name). When someone only completes high school that is my descriptor or title for them.

      Besides, I have conducted the research on her, a stint at SFU with nothing to show for it, then some time spent at the prestigious Sorbonne University in France, with… you guessed it, nothing to show for it.

      The only thing Christy Clark can nail to her office wall, that indicates a completed level of education, is her high school diploma. These are the facts, and I am not name calling.

      Being Human, I do not like Christy Clark or the BC Liberal Party, but to criticise her because she only finished high school and never got a degree from either of the Universities she attended is a pretty vacuous criticism.

      A lot of BC’s most successful people never even finished high school. Let alone attended University. Several of of them were Premiers who, as high school grads or less, had more ability than Premiers who’d been given University Degrees.

      People don’t need to obtain a degree to benefit from study at a University. And even if they do obtain one, it still only signifies that they have obtained a “degree” of knowledge. Not that they know everything there is to know about whatever they’ve studied.

      When you put such faith in elected politicians who are degreed to a high degree, you are really missing the purpose why we elect anybody to be our representatives. Those people are not, and should not be, “experts”. An ‘expert’ is a technician, not a politician. We want that ‘expert’ on tap, not on top.

      Socredible states; “When you put such faith in elected politicians who are degreed to a high degree, you are really missing the purpose why we elect anybody to be our representatives.”

      Really? Lets look at some linear logic; lets say you have acute appendicitis, without an operation you will die in 24 hours. Would you want someone with a high school education operating on you, or someone with at least 8 years medical education and training?

      Now here is the linear logic part, imagine the leader of our province, having a grade 12 education, being the “employer” of our doctors, and approving negotiated settlements on doctors salaries. Now imagine a person with such a limited education becoming the Education Minister of our province, reneging on a legally binding contract with teachers, and then having to eat legal crow after spending millions of dollars of our taxpayer’s money on pathetic legal challenges.

      We can do better, we need smarter, more educated, and knowledgeable, leadership for our province!

    So bh considers herself an elitist, how quaint. Well if you haven’t noticed the elite got snookered in the US and are now advocating violence, how quaint.

    University degree may indicate intelligence but not necessarily smarts especially if taken in by the liberal left dogma.

Every Canadian should boycott every American retailer in Canada then we would see some action. Quit going to and shopping at Walmart.

    Im guessing that 70% of the retailers in Canada are American owned, so you would have a bit of a problem boycotting them all.

      WalMart …. American owned, selling predominately Chinese products.

      But hey, Trump will shut that down … LOL

“We need to move towards a more self-reliant economy and seek trade arrangements based on mutual benefit. That means we need our own nation-building project, ”

Platitudes. That’s all you have. What you’re saying is that we have to DO SOMETHING….SOMETHING DIFFERENT…..uhm….something….

How about, just for a change, when making such criticisms, try to come up with some specifics.

    “How about, just for a change, when making such criticisms, try to come up with some specifics.”

    I agree …. of course if one has some of those ideas and they are seriously thought though, one also knows that they are not to be thrown away in a public forum but are dealt with by contacting those who would be interested in the ideas and are willing to pay if there is value in them.

      gopg2015:-“….of course if one has some of those ideas and they are seriously thought though, one also knows that they are not to be thrown away in a public forum but are dealt with by contacting those who would be interested in the ideas and are willing to pay if there is value in them.”

      Even if the value they’re really paying for is ensuring those ideas themselves never see light of day? You know, kind of like those various patents from mileage improving devices on car engines being bought up by the oil companies, or General Motors buying up municipal light rail and interurban transit companies after World War Two to shut them down, and ensure their buses took their place. And such like. And if they’re not for sale? If the originator has integrity? Well, just watch how quickly any notions contrary to what we’re supposed to believe can be suppressed by the powers that be determined to still be.

    The answer to what a Canadian nation-building project might look like is to start looking first at what our most successful companies are to understand who we are in the business world.

    Here is a list of the 55 most profitable companies in Canada.

    Royal Bank of Canada
    Bank of Nova Scotia
    Toronto-Dominion Bank
    Bank of Montreal
    Imperial Oil
    Suncor Energy
    BCE Inc.
    Canadian National Railway
    Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan
    The Woodbridge Company
    Husky Energy
    Great-West Lifeco
    Canadian Natural Resources
    First Quantum Minerals
    Goldcorp Inc.
    Manulife Financial
    Rogers Communications
    Sun Life Financial
    Power Financial
    National Bank of Canada
    Agrium Inc.
    Magna International
    Brookfield Asset Management
    TransCanada Pipelines
    TransCanada Corporation
    RioCan REIT
    Telus Corporation
    Brookfield Office Properties
    Cenovus Energy
    Canadian Oil Sands
    Calloway REIT
    Power Corporation of Canada
    Teck Resources
    IGM Financial
    HSBC Bank Canada
    Shaw Communications
    Enbridge Inc.
    Boardwalk REIT
    Loblaw Companies
    Shoppers Drug Mart
    Bombardier Inc.
    Intact Financial
    Silver Wheaton
    Canadian Utilities
    Jean Coutu Group
    Fairfax Financial Holdings
    Pacific Rubiales Energy
    Canadian Tire Corporation
    H&R REIT
    George Weston Limited
    Canadian Pacific Railway
    Metro Inc.
    E-L Financial Corporation
    Genworth MI Canada

    Banking, transportation, oil/gas resources, real estate, retailing. See if they can be built on further, then look at sunrise industries.


A company which is 23rd on the list. Profits of over $1.5 billion with a turnover of over $30billion in 2014.

A company we do not normally think of when we think of Canadian companies.

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