2018-06-13

Canada-U.S. trade battle sparks South Shore fears

by Charles Mandel

Bridgewater Mayor David Mitchell is concerned over the deterioration in relations between Canada and the U.S.

Mitchell said that his community stands firmly with the numerous Canadian politicians across all party affiliations who have come out in condemnation of President Trump's position on trade relations with Canada.

"It should concern all of us when free trade under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which has greatly benefited workers and companies on both sides of the border, is put at risk," Mitchell said in a statement on June 11,

Bridgewater has been home to a Michelin North America facility for more than 35 years, the mayor noted, and new tariffs resulting from the deterioration in the free trade relationship between Canada and the United States could have profound consequences.

"Our countries and our communities, large and small, have thrived on good faith free trade," Mitchell said. "We stand with the Federal government, Prime Minister Trudeau, and political leaders from both sides of the House of Commons who have spoken out in support of the longstanding history of mutual co-operation and benefit between our two countries."

Following the G7 summit in Quebec, U.S. President Donald Trump went on a Twitter rampage, attacking Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as "meek and mild," and very dishonest and weak."

At issue is what Trump has characterized as " long-time unfair trade" practices.

"We have put up with 'Trade Abuse' for many decades," the U.S. president Tweeted, adding "Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal."

While Trudeau did not respond to Trump's Twitter tantrum, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told The Globe and Mail: "Canada does not conduct its diplomacy through ad hominem attacks. We don't think that that is a useful or productive way to do business."

According to the national newspaper, Freeland said that "Ottawa won't be bullied and will hit back with $16-billion of retaliatory tariffs if the U.S. does not rescind its penalties on steel and aluminum imposed last week."

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