J. Stewart Cook’s Canadian Commentary
Like everything in President Trump’s world nothing need be complicated and sophisticated. What’s so complicated in building a wall between the USA and Mexico? What’s so complicated in setting-up a “Kool-Aid” stand and selling its produce to those who want a drink?
Well here I go again, citing a song to compliment this article. Yes, it was in 1970 that Ray Stevens came out with the hit song…”Everything is Beautiful.” And this is the world Donald Trump would like, “a la Donald Trump!” As the song goes, “Everything is beautiful, In its own way, Like a starry summer night, Or a snow covered winter’s day. Everybody’s beautiful,
In their own way, Under God’s heaven, The world’s gonna find a way.” Yes, and Donald Trump has found a way. Because, when all is said and done he will simply say…”I did it my way!”
Are we baffled because Donald Trump is running a country (the most powerful country in the world) whimsically. In other words, in an erratic or unpredictable manner! We may be baffled, including all the so-called experts, however, the wheels keep on turning and the USA is alive and well (perhaps “alive” but not too sure about being “well)!
So, what about the economy? As long as we own the “Kool-Aid” stands and sell the produce to others the economy will do just fine. This will only reinforce the President’s motto…”Make America Great Again! And by what means is he doing so? That dirty little word in the economic world…”Protectionism.” I guess the old version of protectionism was “Mercantilism,” popular in the 16th to 18th century in Europe. It was devised “to increase a nation’s wealth by imposing government regulation that oversaw all of the nation’s commercial interests. It was believed national strength could be maximized by limiting imports via tariffs and maximizing exports.” So what’s the issue? Sounds straight forward to me. It seems to be working for the President…so far!
But it’s not also about the “trade deficit.” You know, “a bang for my buck.” Just a minute now, whose getting the bigger bang? It would seem that the President has made himself a list of products being manufactured in the USA and a list of products being imported. So he’s made the list, checking it twice…hoping I’m not on it, because if I’m a country causing a trade deficit I might as well pack it in and say…”Toot, Toot, Tootsie! Goodbye!”
So here we go! The President opened Pandora’s “economic” box…good-bye to the U.S.A. trade agreement with South Korea, the Trans-Pacific Partnership withdrawl, Japan and Europe announces their own trade deal, etc.
And let us not forget NAFTA. Negotiations started on August 16, 2017, between the USA, Canada and Mexico. They are still ongoing. This subject matter I have addressed in former articles and, like all, awaiting the outcome!
In 2018, the President imposed tariffs on washing machines, solar panels, steel, aluminum, electronics, aerospace products, etc. Other countries retaliated. One could spend each day awaiting a new tariff to be imposed. But when does it end? We all know that “protectionism” doesn’t truly work. This was evident during the years of the “great depression.” The consequence is retaliation by other countries and consequently, international trade declines. Furthermore, exports are reduced and thus increase prices on imports. This is everything the USA does not want to hear nor live by!
So let it be, one-on-one trade agreements with other countries rather than the multi-lateral approach. Put it this way, the President would like to take the “Lou Bega” approach as found in the song Mambo No. 5…one, two, three, four, five, A little bit of Monica in my life,
A little bit of Erica by my side, A little bit of Rita is all I need, A little bit of Tina is what I see,
A little bit of Jessica here I am, A little bit of you makes ME your man!
Welcome to the USA, we’re open for business!