Protectionists feeling strong with Trump: MacNaughton

Canada must put together a team to educate Donald Trump and other Americans on the benefits of free trade,the country’s ambassador to the United States said Wednesday.

MONTREAL — Canada must put together a team to educate Donald Trump and other Americans on the benefits of free trade, the country’s ambassador to the United States said Wednesday.

Trade has become a “dirty” word south of the border and protectionists feel emboldened by the election of Trump, David MacNaughton told a business lunch crowd in Montreal.

President-elect Trump consistently criticized the North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, during the campaign.

It is unclear, however, what steps he will take to address discontent with the agreement once he takes office.

“This is about education,” MacNaughton said, adding nine million jobs in the U.S. directly depend on trade with Canada and 35 states have Canada as their leading trade partner.

He said business, labour and all the provinces must come together and show a common front as Trump takes office.

“We need to be able to put a team together that is broad-based and part of that will be the education not just of Donald Trump’s people but the American people — on a scale that we haven’t done before,” MacNaughton said. “I think we have to work harder at it.”

Canada’s softwood lumber trade negotiations with the U.S. will also likely become more difficult when Trump takes office, MacNaughton said.

Forests in Canada are managed by governments as opposed to the private sector like in the U.S., and therefore American producers have long complained that Canada is unfairly subsidizing its lumber products.

MacNaughton said the real issue is that the Americans don’t really care about Canada’s subsidies.

“They want to manage the trade,” he told reporters after his speech. “And they want to manage it to a market share instead of some open market system, even with tariffs.”

Raymond Chretien, Canada’s former ambassador to the U.S. who is currently representing Quebec’s interests in the lumber negotiations, told the crowd after MacNaughton’s speech that “the Americans never give gifts.”

“They negotiate tooth and nail for their interests,” he said. “And because they are richer than us we have to fight hard to protect our interests.”

Just Posted

Shipping oil by rail questioned

Red Deer-area mayors respond

Country star Gord Bamford and The Reclaws perform free Games concert Friday

Show starts at 6:30 p.m. in heated dome off Celebration Plaza in downtown Red Deer

Survey looks at social isolation among older men

Partnership between Red Deer College and Golden Circle Resource Centre

Peruvian brothers travel nearly 8,000 km to volunteer at Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Italo and Mirko Del Castillo say Canadian warmth contrasts with twinter cold

Pride Days celebrated for first time at Canada Winter Games on Feb. 21 and 28

Pride Days are another first for Red Deer’s 2019 Canada Winter Games.… Continue reading

Gardening: What are you planting in 2019?

What’s new in plants for 2019? Checking catalogues, greenhouses and stores will… Continue reading

Opinion: I spy another energy hypocrite

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. The mittens provided to… Continue reading

Canada’s bobsleigh team races World Cup on Calgary home track facing closure

CALGARY — Canada’s skeleton and bobsled teams will race a World Cup… Continue reading

Italy becomes ninth international football league to join forces with CFL

TORONTO — Add Italy to the growing list of international football federations… Continue reading

Toronto Defiant Overwatch academy team to be known as the Montreal Rebellion

MONTREAL — The Toronto Defiant’s Overwatch academy team will be known as… Continue reading

Canadian fashion and design insiders recall Karl Lagerfeld’s charm, ingenuity

TORONTO — Several Canadian fashion and design experts who knew couture icon… Continue reading

Millennial Money: Make your funds move at the speed of life

Change is constant — especially when you’re young. Chances are you’ll cycle… Continue reading

TSB says improved tankers involved in Manitoba derailment that spilled crude

ST. LAZARE, Man. — Federal investigators say CN rail cars that spilled… Continue reading

Most Read