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"Double, double, toil and trouble,” Shakespeare’s three witches chant in the opening of Macbeth. Although Shakespeare didn’t intend his lines to describe modern economics, they seem appropriate.
For the last year, Canadian news reports have included regular updates on trade negotiations between Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. Donald Trump repeatedly threatened to cancel the existing North American Free Trade Agreement. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Christia Freeland repeated her mantra – negotiations are proceeding in good faith.
Fires burned. Cauldrons bubbled. Delegations met. Endlessly.
And then, at the last minute, just before a U.S.-imposed deadline – where did NAFTA grant the U.S. the privilege of imposing unilateral deadlines? – someone threw in “eye of newt” and someone else withdrew a “lizard’s leg,” and just like that, we had a new trade and tariff agreement – USMCA, a.k.a. the U.S., Mexico, and Canada Agreement.
Poof! The ugly toad turns into a charming prince.
That was on Monday.
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: NAFTA, pipelines, USMCA, trade, economics, Kinder-Morgan, LNG, Kitimat
John Horgan and Rachel Notley, look what you’ve started!
Once, you were the kiddies having a spat in the sandbox. Horgan blocks Notley’s pipeline; Notley blocks B.C.’s wines. You hit me; I hit you back.
More recently, the sandbox has become the law courts. As an opinion piece in the Vancouver Sunnoted earlier this week, Horgan could have lawyers arguing two different sides of the same coin, in two side-by-side courtrooms. In one courtroom, that a province has a legal and constitutional right to restrict the shipment of petroleum products; next door, that a province does NOT have the right to restrict shipment of petroleum products.
But now the sandbox squabbling has escalated.
The laughing-stock president in the White House just dumped a big bucket of sand on Canada -- and on Mexico, though the Canadian media have largely ignored Mexico. Steel and aluminum imports into the United States are now subject to hefty tariffs.
Tags: pipelines, courts, Horgan, Notley, tariffs, steel. aluminum, maple syrup