From the Editor / L. Ian Mac­Don­ald

Trudeau, Trump and Trade: The New Deal

Policy - - In This Issue - From the Editor / L. Ian Mac­Don­ald

Wel­come to our spe­cial is­sue on the new North Amer­i­can trade deal, NAFTA 2.0, or as Don­ald Trump has in­sisted on styling it, the U.S.-Mex­ico-Canada Agree­ment (USMCA), easy to rec­og­nize but dif­fi­cult to pro­nounce.

It has been more than three decades since Canada and the U.S. ne­go­ti­ated the first FTA in 1987, and more than a quar­ter cen­tury since the NAFTA was ne­go­ti­ated to in­clude Mex­ico in 1991-92.

Derek Bur­ney was present at the cre­ation of both, first as chief of staff to Prime Min­is­ter Brian Mul­roney in the Canada-U.S. round, then as Cana­dian am­bas­sador to the United States dur­ing the NAFTA talks.

There is a huge dif­fer­ence be­tween then and now, in that Mul­roney was deal­ing with ra­tio­nal po­lit­i­cal ac­tors in Ron­ald Rea­gan and the first Ge­orge Bush, both of whom had a closer who could de­liver for them— James A. Baker, first as sec­re­tary of the trea­sury to Rea­gan, and then as sec­re­tary of state to Bush.

From the Cana­dian side, Bur­ney played a some­what sim­i­lar role in both ne­go­ti­a­tions, and he of­fers his uniquely in­formed in­sti­tu­tional mem­ory, as well as his in­sights on the new USMCA, which he sees as “more as a source of re­lief than of cel­e­bra­tion.” Bur­ney ac­knowl­edges the un­usu­ally dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances of deal­ing with Don­ald Trump. From BMO Fi­nan­cial Group, the bank’s chief econ­o­mist Dou­glas Porter asks: “How do you spell re­lief?” And his an­swer is that while the deal “dis­perses clouds of un­cer­tainty over the Cana­dian econ­omy, it doesn’t change the fun­da­men­tal fac­tors driv­ing the longer-term out­look.” Porter walks us through the de­tails of the deal and the mar­kets’ view of it. Sarah Goldfeder, a for­mer ad­viser to U.S. am­bas­sadors in Ot­tawa who also served for the State Depart­ment in Mex­ico, asks whether the deal “truly con­sti­tutes a win-win-win?”

The Munk School’s Drew Fa­gan looks at the bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship in a time of ten­sion and con­cludes Canada is walk­ing on the ra­zor’s edge. From Wash­ing­ton, the Cana­dian Amer­i­can Busi­ness Coun­cil’s Scotty Green­wood of­fers a ret­ro­spec­tive of the Cana­di­anAmer­i­can re­la­tion­ship, a view from in­side the Belt­way.

Mered­ith Lilly, who was for­eign pol­icy and trade ad­viser to Stephen Harper, shares her as­sess­ment of the new deal. And John Weekes, who was Canada’s chief ne­go­tia­tor of the first NAFTA agree­ment, of­fers his per­spec­tive on NAFTA 2.0.

And colum­nist Don Newman of­fers his take on the deal and its po­lit­i­cal im­pli­ca­tions for Canada in 2019.

In our Canada and the World sec­tion, we lead with Ed Green­spon and Kevin Lynch’s timely ap­praisal of op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges in trade be­tween Canada and China, which they call “the 21st cen­tury’s new great power.” Rep­re­sent­ing only four per cent of the world’s econ­omy in 2000, they note that to­day “China ac­counts for 15 per cent and the U.S. 24 per cent. Those num­bers are fore­cast to con­verge in a decade or so, af­ter which China will sur­pass the U.S. as the world’s largest econ­omy.” The Pub­lic Pol­icy Fo­rum has rec­om­men­da­tions for Canada’s en­gage­ment with China, which have been widely dis­cussed since the Oc­to­ber re­lease of an 18-month study. Not to be over­looked—the is­sue of hu­man rights in China.

Look­ing back at the Que­bec elec­tion on Oc­to­ber 1, Gra­ham Fraser makes the case that what started out as a bor­ing cam­paign be­came a fas­ci­nat­ing one—the first since 1970 in which sovereignty was not on the bal­lot, which al­lowed François Le­gault to make the case for change from the dom­i­nance of the Que­bec Lib­er­als and the Parti Québé­cois. Le­gault’s Coali­tion Avenir Québec won 74 rid­ings in the 125seat leg­is­la­ture, a thump­ing ma­jor­ity, while the Lib­er­als had their worst show­ing since Con­fed­er­a­tion and the PQ lost rec­og­nized party stand­ing in the Na­tional Assem­bly. Dal­housie Univer­sity’s Lori Turn­bull looks at the New Brunswick elec­tion, which re­sulted in a mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment lead­ing to a hung par­lia­ment that con­vened on Oc­to­ber 23. She looks at the con­sti­tu­tional and po­lit­i­cal im­pli­ca­tions of the sit­u­a­tion. Robin Sears looks at the con­fir­ma­tion of Brett Ka­vanaugh as U.S. Supreme Court jus­tice and com­pares the process to Canada’s.

Look­ing at the en­ergy, en­vi­ron­men­tal and eco­nomic im­pli­ca­tions of Ot­tawa’s Bill C-69, En­bridge EVP Bob Rooney of­fers an in­dus­try per­spec­tive on tak­ing the time to get it right for stake­hold­ers on all sides, in­clud­ing Indige­nous peo­ples.

Fi­nally, we of­fer two re­views of im­por­tant books for the hol­i­day sea­son. An­thony Wil­son-Smith looks at Power, Prime Min­is­ters and the Press, a his­tory of the “his­toric loveloathe re­la­tion­ship be­tween the Par­lia­men­tary Press Gallery and the gov­ern­ment of the day” from 1867 to the present. No one brings stronger cre­den­tials than au­thor Bob Lewis, who spent 35 years work­ing in the Gallery and work­ing with his par­lia­men­tary writ­ers as editor of Ma­clean’s.

In a time of dys­func­tion in Wash­ing­ton, Pol­icy As­so­ciate Editor Lisa Van Dusen finds per­spec­tive in Doris Kearns Good­win’s por­trait of four great Amer­i­can pres­i­dents, Lead­er­ship in Tur­bu­lent Times.


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