TORONTO (AP) – Donald Trump called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “weak” and “dishonest” and a key commercial attack of Canada. He threatened to impose taxes on cars and impose them on steel.
Unprecedented attacks on America’s closest ally over the past four years leave a bitter taste and most Canadians will be relieved if Trump is defeated in the election.
“He is ready to threaten Canada with dire consequences in a way that we have never seen before,” said Roland Paris, a former senior foreign policy advisor to Trudeau.
Canada is one of the most trade-dependent countries in the world, and Trump̵7;s tearing up the North American Free Trade Agreement and calling for a 25% tariff on the auto sector is an existential threat.
About 75% of Canada’s exports go to the US, so it’s important to maintain a free trade agreement, and the two countries, along with Mexico, reached a new agreement last year. But just six weeks after it was enforced, Trump announced new tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.
“Trump is an unpredictable nightmare,” said Nelson Wiseman, professor of political science at the University of Toronto. “The government and the majority of Canadians are looking for and hoping for Trump’s defeat.”
According to the Pew Research Center, about two-thirds of Canadians have a favorable view of the US in 2016, the final year of President Barack Obama’s presidency.
By this year, that number has fallen to 35% – the lowest figure since the center started voting in Canada two decades ago. Just 20% of those polled said they trust Trump to do the right things regarding world affairs.
The June to August telephone poll of 1,037 Canadians had a 3.7 percentage point error.
Meanwhile, Trump’s Democratic rival, Joe Biden, describes Canada as “like a family” when Trudeau held a state-level dinner in Ottawa a month. Biden left the vice president seat. Biden knew Justin’s father, the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and the Liberal and Democratic leaders were unified.
“Personal relationships will improve by about 3,000%,” says Biden, historian Robert Bothwell. “There will be a return of rationality and friendliness. The Biden administration will bring with it all the people who value the American alliances, so Canada will not only benefit bilaterally and multilaterally when trying to restore the various Western alliances.
Some Canadian analysts have complained that the Trump administration did not support their country – other than making statements of support – as China detained two Canadians in apparent retaliation for Canada’s arrest of a bishop. China’s top technology executive at US command. No support came as Saudi Arabia expelled Canada’s ambassador and asked its students to leave Canada after the foreign minister called for greater human rights in the kingdom.
“The discouraged authoritarian regimes are betting that the US will not punish them for targeting US allies, and Canada has borne the brunt of that,” Paris, now professor of international issues at the University of Ottawa, says.
But there could be an early agitation if Biden wins. Biden said he would cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, a project aimed at expanding key oil exports to Canada, which has the third largest oil reserves in the world.
Biden’s call for a “Buy US” trade policy also concerns Canada.
Trade in goods and services between the United States and Canada is estimated at 725.1 billion USD in 2019, of which the US deficit is 2.7 billion USD. The US had a surplus of $ 7.4 billion in 2017,
The relationship between the two countries is without parallel anywhere in the world. There is close cooperation on defense, border security and law enforcement, and a huge overlap of culture, tradition, and pastime – with baseball, hockey, basketball and ball leagues. shared stones. About 400,000 people crossed the world’s longest international border every day before the pandemic made it impassable in March.
The US has more confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19 than any other country, but in Canada there is hope that the Biden administration can better stop the virus.
“We cannot close the border forever. The fact that it has been accepted with almost no scrutiny to date is partly a measure of how obnoxious the Trump administration is, ”Bothwell said.
Canadians expressed hurt when their neighbor blocked shipments of N95 protective masks from the United States during the early part of the pandemic. Bruce Heyman, the former US ambassador to Canada, calls it a low point.
“I can’t imagine living next to someone and they need something to survive and I say, ‘You can’t have it.’ It was unthinkable, ”said Heyman. “Relationships are like family. It’s like a trusted neighbor and we have a president who doesn’t take any of it seriously. He traded to win for him. “
Heyman said another low point was when Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro said there was a “special place in hell” for Trudeau following the G-7 summit in Quebec in 2018, when Trudeau told reporters that Canada will retaliate against new US tariffs it considers unfair. Trump was furious, withdrew the United States from his G-7 joint statement and called Trudeau “dishonest” and “weak” and threatened to cost Canadians in trade negotiations. .
For his part, Mr. Trudeau recently met with Canadian diplomats in the US.
“If it’s not clearer, there might be some interruptions and we need to be ready,” he added.
Paris says the United States has changed in recent years: “Even if Biden wins, he will run a deeply divided country, centered on within and on ideas that prioritize water. America is really infiltrating lawmakers and the masses. “
Bothwell said he is concerned about his enduring support for Trump: “The fact that 40% of Americans support this guy regardless of what is deeply disappointing.”