Tariff threats as a negotiating tactic for a better NAFTA deal was my suspicion of what the President is trying to achieve. Know that finalized aspects are ‘somewhat’ improved with regard to food and dairy; which is a significant component of the trade relationship with Canada. Now that seems to be a ‘done deal’, and hard to say if it would have been derailed by the seemingly heavy-handed Trump approach to nudge things along.
(Once again we have a snapback; but beware of its sustainability.)
However as I have mentioned, Canada is ‘not’ a low-cost producer like a slew of others (Mexico included, but of course many Asian countries). At the same time expecting countries to ‘cave-in’ during negotiations right in the middle of formal trade talks, kind of compels stiffening-up .. even if (as is the case) most of these partners need us more than the reverse.
Yes, it’s very much triggering political disputes such as Speaker Ryan’s threat to turn Congress against Trump’s tariff proposals; while for sure the idea to turn the trade relationships to a ‘fairer’ status via-a-vis the US is certainly right at the core of why Trump ran for the Presidency. It’s one of my major peeves with governance from both parties for 3 decades as you know; ever since my first Keynote speech at the American Footwear Assoc. in Boca Raton in I believe 1976. (I was a mere child then, but did realize if politicians wouldn’t toughen-up trade everyone would be forced to outsource, and I had major manufacturers in tears at the prospect.)
Calling a Spade a Shovel
As a result of ‘no action’ in Washington; they invited me again to speak .. that time in Palm Springs, and we all realized the folly going on in DC. Sure stocks went up; we were all bullish; profits jumped; but the Nation’s industrial might really was decimated from that era until present revival efforts; that somewhat kicked-in after a forecast 2007-’08 ‘Epic Debacle’. Technology saved a lot of the US; but other than that Trump is the first President to ‘call a spade a shovel’ if you will; and attack this head-on.