The title is the one question that I feel isn’t being answered in the whole kerfluffle about readmitting Russia into the G7 and Trudeau’s eyebrows.  I’d like to discuss it.

Plenty of noise is being heard about Trump “alienating our allies” and “starting a trade war”.  My own attitude is that our allies are generally a bunch of freeloading liabilities who have taken advantage of us for years.  They don’t deserve any special consideration, certainly not to the point that American workers are losing their jobs on account of trade deficits with those allies.  The sense I’ve had for several years is that the United States is generally taken for granted by the rest of the world, receives very little but criticism for what it does both good and bad, and should not do any more for other nations than is absolutely necessary for its own benefit.

America is making some long overdue changes to our foreign policy.  It’s nothing personal, we’re just sick of everybody else’s shit.  We want to either be allowed to sell our junk competitively in your countries or at least make sure that we have an advantage in selling other junk or buying your crap.  For the moment, we’ll be nice and keep your sea lanes open, but don’t count on it for much longer.  Whether you like it or not, it appears that my view is shared by the Trump Administration and that’s the way it’s going to be probably even after his term of office ends.

I get that Germany, Japan, the UK, and Canada etc are upset that the president we elected to do what he is doing is doing it, especially since we have been quietly allowing these sorts of lopsided arrangements for decades.  But let’s say that the current trade agreements we have with our G7 partners are bad (which is hard as hell to determine).  I don’t understand why anyone–particularly Americans–would think that we should accept it forever.  Would anyone like to try to make that sale with me today?

It’s not that I’m heartless.  Sure, I don’t care at all about the Germans, British, or Japanese but I do hate to see the Canadians getting kicked around.  I still love you guys and hope you know that you are being screwed over by your own government’s dairy products tariff.  Even though I’m all America First these days, I don’t think you should have to cross the border just to get cheap milk for your cornflakes or whatever you have for breakfast when you’re not eating round bacon.

Put aside for a moment the wisdom of how Trump is resolving our trade deficits (and yes, I know it’s sort of murky what the trade deficit with Canada is and I don’t even think there really is one) or the appropriateness of playing Trade War Chicken with the G6.

What I’d like is a real discussion about how fair or unfair our current trade deals really are.  Additionally, does anyone have the opinion that even if they are unfair, is it something we should continue to ignore in favor of world stability or whatever?

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Judge Dredd, Pro Se

I think you should drop your fanboi crush on trump long enough to look at these deals individually and pragmatically. We operate in a trade surplus with Canada, to say the very least. They choose to protect their dairy industry and insulate it, for whatever reason. We do this with sugar. If you look at the totality of the trade agreement with Canada, it is fair. I think you and the other trumpalos confuse your anger being pushed around as the American worker on trade agreements, where your anger truly lies with American corporate culture. Ford, GM, dodge, etc. decided… Read more »

Santino

I recall from my first year macro economics course that free trade was a good thing. I did a quick search on Wikipedia about the FTA between the US and Canada signed back in the late 80s. I found out that it was backed by one of the professors at my school, and I recall using his text book, so that may have been a bias opinion. I do recall the scare mongering of those against the Canada/US free trade agreement, which was basically that we would lose our sovereignty. It’s clear that it didn’t affect our sovereignty. According to… Read more »

certainly not to the point that American workers are losing their jobs on account of trade deficits with those allies Except that’s not happening. You’re proceeding from a false assumption; that these trade deals are bad. But as noted above, we generally run about even with Canada in trade. With Europe, same deal. And if you’re worried about the few tariffs that remain, you can mostly thank Trump for that as TPP would have removed a LOT of them. All the Japanese tariffs on American agriculture, for example, would have gone to zero. He’s a big deal about Canadian tariffs… Read more »

Judge Dredd, Pro Se

Canada is one of our best customers of military technology. We share not only technology but military tactics, understanding and Canadian men have bled right next to our soldiers in many theaters of war. The puddly fucking excuse that Canadian steel, steel we purchase and use in our military technology we then sell to our Canadian allies is FUCKING PREPOSTEROUS to say that purchase is a national security issue. It’s an insult to anyone’s intelligence, particularly our most polite and stalwart ally. An ally that is very honorable, and doesn’t even create an issue of illegal immigrants with us. I… Read more »

Zurvan

match American tariffs on Canadian dairy From everything I’m reading, this is incorrect. Canadian dairy is more expensive in general because the US subsidizes the US Dairy farmers to the tune of billions a year, whereas Canada doesn’t dump nearly that much into it – they control output, creating an artificially stable price/market. That keeps US Milk relatively low cost compared to Canada. Thus Canada protects its own dairy farmers (as they have every right to do) by imposing huge tariffs on US Dairy. There is no equivalent tariff on dairy from Canada to the US because it’s more expensive… Read more »

I guess we’ll find out if our dairy prices go up. Of course, fewer people seem to be drinking milk, which is already hurting the dairy industry on both sides of the border. IMO any other democratically elected leader would probably do what Trump has done if they felt threatened by foreign trade, which indeed our allies have done in the past. They didn’t seem to mind as long as he was talking about China and not them.

Also what is the deal with Trudeau’s eyebrows?

Santino

I think the story is in line with tariffs being bad for the consumer. The high tariffs keep out the competition, and the oligopolistic milk producers get to charge high prices for their products. I pay just under $5 CAD for 4L (just over a gallon) of 1% milk (which incidentally comes in bags https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJC7ilyFsWY). That’s is 3.85 USD at today’s exchange rate. Whole milk (or as we call it here, homo milk, no one is triggered by that) is over $5 and some organic shit will run you close to $10. Is that bad compared to what you pay… Read more »

Zurvan

That’s is 3.85 USD at today’s exchange rate. Whole milk (or as we call it here, homo milk, no one is triggered by that) is over $5 and some organic shit will run you close to $10. Is that bad compared to what you pay in the US? I pay about $2 a gallon for whole milk at Costco. That can fluctuate depending on what brand you buy, and what store, it can get up to $4 a gallon if you need to buy from a corner gas/convenience store for some reason. We also have the organic shit, and it… Read more »

Zurvan

Which photo did you see in the media? I only saw A.

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