10.12.2017 08:52 AM

From next week’s column: Enjoy the view under the bus, Mexico! Love, Canada

From next week’s column.  I was particularly proud of the gratuitous Game of Thrones reference, so I leave it here for your elucidation and merriment, gratis:

This Benedict Arnold-style strategy creates three new problems for us, the Snow Mexicans.

One, it mainly helps Trump, not Canada.  The American “president” may be a racist, sexist, lying bastard – but he knows a thing or two about negotiations.  Decades devoted to doing New York City real estate deals with his Daddy’s money taught him that the best opponent is weakened opponent. 

By dispensing with a united Canada-Mexico front, Justin Trudeau has reduced his bargaining power.  As Donald Trump knows – and as Trudeau may soon discover – it is always easier to steal the lunch money of one kid.  Not two.

If Justin Trudeau doesn’t watch Game of Thrones, he should.  Every fan of that shows knows that, when seeking a bargain with a much-more-powerful opponent, you need to form alliances with other less-powerful kingdoms.  In Westeros terms, Trudeau has sped up Winter’s arrival.

Two, nudging Mexico under the proverbial bus makes a big, big assumption that almost certainly will be proven wrong: namely, that Donald Trump’s promises are worth the paper they’re printed on.  They’re not.

As half his cabinet, all of his wives, most of the Republican Party and all of Puerto Rico can attest, Trump will turn on you in a New York minute.  His word is no good.  He was elected on a platform to tear up the TPP and NAFTA – and build a xenophobic, inward-looking, protectionist demi-monde.  He hasn’t kept any other promise, but he’s kept that one.



  1. Matt from Ottawa says:

    Warren, frankly I dont think the PM wants to be PM anymore. With everything happening lately, I just dont get the feeling he is taking anything seriously. There seemed to be more mention from his team yesterday about his feminism than about NAFTA. When times are good and fun, he loves it (who wouldnt), but with the actual work needing to be done, I just dont see it. Im a swing voter so to speak and bounce between CPC and LPC. I was sick of Harper last election, but sadly, yesterday I kind of missed him when he seemed to be more articulate and had more substance on NAFTA than our current PM.

  2. Darrell says:

    I agree with Warren, I believe Trump isn’t in this for fame and/or nastalgia, he is in it to win, period. He wants to win at everything, foreign and domestic.

  3. James Smith says:

    Yes, you’re correct. But my read of the situation is that Mexico dismissed a united front with us out of hand at the get go. So there’s that.

  4. Steve T says:

    I think it’s even more than that. I think Trump would love nothing more than to see Canada and Mexico battling it out amongst each other, to see who gets to suck at the master’s teat. (how I’m sure Donnie Boy sees America’s role with regard to the rest of the world). He wants each subservient nation to be so worn-down by competition for his favour, that they will take whatever scraps he throws them.
    As you mention, the best approach would be for Canada and Mexico to meet in private, and determine how they can divvy up the American Pie, before any negotiations with Trump. In addition, perhaps start running ads on U.S. television stations, noting the economic benefits that NAFTA has conferred on the U.S. since its inception.

  5. BlueGritr says:

    Pierre Trudeau, very much an equal to Richard Nixon. Justin Trudeau v D. Trump, a complete mismatch in favour of the POTUS.

  6. Pedro says:

    First reaction: “Well. At least he’s looking out for Canadians. Not his job to look after Mexico. Makes for a nice meeting with Nieto – NOT!”
    Then, the realization: “Checkers, meet chess.” D’oh! Agreed: a three-pointer for Trump!

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