This week, a European delegation visited Washington to discuss trade issues.
The day before, president Trump tweeted that he had “an idea for them. Both the U.S. and the E.U. drop all Tariffs, Barriers and Subsidies! That would finally be called Free Market and Fair Trade!”
He made the same offer to Canada at the G7 Charlevoix summit in June. But the Liberal government ignored it.
Instead, Trudeau tried to look tough by declaring that “Canadians will not be pushed around,” and soon after relations between the two countries deteriorated even more.
As free-market conservatives, we believe in free trade.
I think we should take up Trump’s offer, put everything on the table and see how far we can go. EVERYTHING.
No more sacred cows and protection for this or that sector. No more cheques handed out by politicians trying to buy votes. Real free trade.
Benefits would be tremendous for everyone.
Some people keep saying my approach will never work. Trump is too unpredictable, he behaves irrationally, he can’t be trusted.
Well, you know what?
By Wednesday, the US had reached an agreement with the European delegation to work toward REMOVING ALL TRADE BARRIERS.
And the US made a commitment to resolve the steel and aluminum tariff issues.
The threat of a trade war has receded between the two sides.
As the country most dependent on trade with the US, why are we unable to reach this kind of agreement to renew NAFTA?!
Why don’t we show we mean business by putting supply management on the table, instead of getting into a trade war that we can’t win?
Those who say it can’t be done in fact do not want to take up Trump’s offer and negotiate real free trade.
They like big government. They like bureaucratic meddling and protected industries.
Negotiating real free trade would threaten all this, so they look for reasons not to do it.
Friend, am I the only politician in Ottawa who says we should sit down with Trump and start meaningful negotiations, instead of playing politics with the 20% of our economy that depends on trade with the US.
You can watch an interview I gave to BNN Bloomberg to spread this message.