What Now in World Trade?


Trump’s tariff war on America’s longtime trading partners leaves the global market in a state of flux. What do you think will happen now?

There is retaliation of course, and there will probably be escalation. And…?

Trump’s position seems to be that America is such a great consumer market that other countries must accept any terms he offers if they want access to it.

And, yes, America is where the money is. With a population of 300 million-plus, who wouldn’t want to sell their goods here? Besides, America’s millions of consumers are richer than most, and they tend to be big spenders.

But America is not the only coveted market in the world.

In addition to Europe and Latin America, there are new global players  coming of age in Asia.This continent is home to more than half of the world’s people. And a robust middle class is emerging there.

With America shunning the Trans Pacific Partnership, Canada, Mexico, the UK and mainland Europe may have an opportunity to forge new and lucrative trading partnerships in that part of the world.

I am not as knowledgeable as I would wish when it comes to the rest of the world, but I lived in Canada, and I know a little about that economy.

Canada is enormously rich in natural resources and agricultural products. All kinds of minerals (even rare earth metals) abound in Canada. Oil, uranium and other energy producing resources are also abundant.

Much of the vast land is stiill covered by forests, and Canadian grain could easily feed the global population.

Also, the water on which many American communities rely originates in Canada.

For generations American interests have developed Canadian resources with rewards for both countries. Tearing this symbiotic relationship apart would be agonizing, perhaps, but not impossible.

China already hankers after Canada’s oil, which Americans spurn as “dirty.” And China seems eager to acquire Canadian real estate. With the billions the Chinese have accumulated from America, they might reasonably be expected to invest quite heavily in Canada.

It seems to me that Trump is rushing in where angels would fear to tread. Someone needs to talk sense into him.

If, of course, that’s possible.

Trump’s tariff war

More on Canada’s global trade

More on rare earth metals

More on Canada’s resources