'Canadians Are Livid' About Trump And Are Hitting Back By Boycotting U.S. Goods | NPR

June 28, 2018

Excerpt from: https://www.npr.org/2018/06/28/623518328/canadians-are-livid-about-trump-and-are-hitting-back-by-boycotting-u-s-goods

 

...Many Canadians are wondering how a once-strong relationship with the U.S. has deteriorated so quickly.

"Canadians are livid; the anger is across the country," says Roland Paris, a professor of international affairs at the University of Ottawa and a former foreign policy adviser to Trudeau.

He says Trump may be using tariffs and undignified language as leverage for trade deals, such as the ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement talks, but Canadians are shocked at being treated as an adversary.

"If President Trump's goal is to try to soften up his negotiating partner by issuing threats, it's having the opposite effect, because people are more resolved to stand up against this kind of bullying," he says.

The Canadian government says it will levy dollar-for-dollar retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. on July 1, Canada Day. These will include steel and aluminum, along with other products — such as bourbon from Kentucky — that will particularly hit states aligned with Trump.

Gary Howe, the president of the United Steelworkers Local 1005, in Hamilton, Ontario, says his members aren't panicking yet about a possible trade war with the U.S. The bigger concern is what's happening on the U.S.-Mexico border.

"You know, the kids that are separated from their parents — I mean, it really makes Trump look to be like quite a monster," he says. "I think that most Canadians would kind of view him as ... quite an evil person, you know, because that's the way that the [Canadian] media has been kind of presenting it."

Paris says many Canadians have relatives and friends in the U.S. and understand it is a big and complex country.

"Nevertheless," he says, "the chaos, the meanness, the brutality of American politics right now is something that is profoundly shocking to Canadians and I think many people feel that they do not recognize the U.S. anymore."

Gordon Ritchie, Canada's ambassador for trade negotiations in the 1980s and one of the principal negotiators of the original Canada-U.S. free trade agreement, says the tariffs and tough talk have created a breach of trust — but the relationship will survive.

"I think the Canadian-American relationship — in political and economic terms — is very, very close and it will outlast this president," he says.

In the meantime, he believes Canadians will continue to voice their disapproval with the Trump administration through the #BuyCanadian movement. He predicts that will extend to the tourism industry as well. Three of his neighbors who spend time in Florida every year are now looking for new vacation spots outside the U.S.

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Roland Paris
Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

University of Ottawa

120 University Private, Room 6053

Ottawa, Ontario, K1Y 3M5, Canada

rparis@uottawa.ca

+1 (613) 562-5800 x4047
@rolandparis

© Roland Paris 2019