An optimistic consensus between economists is that trade talks with the U.S. will focus primarily on arrangements with Mexico and China, and ‘optimistic’ being the key adjective as nobody really knows with certainty what angle this new U.S. administration will take.
But a new buzzword for Canada and our economic relationship with the U.S. seems to be ‘collateral damage.’
This is in reference to President Trump prioritizing trade talks and Canada falling victim to any fallout from U.S.-Mexico relations because of the trilateral agreement that makes up NAFTA.
Our Canadian ambassador to the U.S., David MacNaughton briefing the Liberal Cabinet in Calgary today and his premise is that it might be in Canada’s best interest to focus on the direct Canada-U.S. relationship as that’s where our principle interests stands, and almost stealing a page from the contagious Trump dogma, by looking out for our own best interest.
Unfortunately, with trade best interest only works when speaking collectively between the participating parties. This as fears and a global theme of protectionism remains elevated.