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The NAFTA Disasta

John Turnbull

Posted on September 9, 2018 13:04

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Water they upset about?

So the current American administration wants to retool NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) to bolster its interests. That's fine, nothing wrong with that, I get it. What's odd is that Canada is taking flak, mostly from Mexico, for doing the very same thing and is being made out to be the villian. As a result, Trump has bypassed the agreement for now, a dubious legal move I suspect, and has a pending bilateral deal with just Mexico. Of course it's not over yet and in typical bureaucratic fashion the deadline has been extended once again, from talks that started in August 2017. 

NAFTA was enacted January 1st, 1994 for the basic pupose of eliminating tariffs between the three countries. For more details on the original agreement, here's a great Wikipedia link - and throw them $5 bucks while you're at it -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Free_Trade_Agreement. Overall the pundits agree that the pact was a good thing except for certain smaller sectors, primarily in manufacturing, that did not reap the benefits. But NAFTA has been a sore spot with politicians for years, so Trump's actions are not new, although his behaviour certainly is. A retooling of the act with concessions on all sides, essentially a win-win situation, is not a bad thing. It's just not Trump's thing.

So what is that is prompting the US to threaten to exclude Canada from any new deal? What is it that caused Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, to put on his big boy pants for the first time in his soft tenure? As cheesy as it is, it's dairy. They're literally crying over spilt milk. The thing is, the Canadian Dairy Farmers Association has had a Nazi Regime-like grip on the country for years. As a result, Canadians are paying way-y-y too much for dairy products. So American competition IS a win-win, for the Canadian consumers and the American companies. Just not for the teat squeezers. Greed is hard to ratify when the real bills the corporations want passed are the colour green. When patriotism collides with consumerism, guess who's going to win? (Made in China, anyone?)

If Canada wants to play hardball with the US in the NAFTA talks, do it for a real reason: water! I believe the next global conflict will be over this life sustaining liquid and the US has been siphoning millions of gallons of it from under Canadian soil, not only tax-free, but for free. Turn off the tap and negotiate that; something profitable for survival. Milk that for all it's worth.

John Turnbull

Posted on September 9, 2018 13:04

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Source: Reuters
6

Canada and the United States ended talks to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on Friday without reaching...

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