An under-the-radar move by Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau showed that Canada is ready to get tough with Trump on trade

trump trudeauPrime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau and US President Donald Trump
Leon Neal/Getty Images

  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a reshuffle of his Cabinet on Wednesday.
  • As part of the reshuffle, Trudeau said Jim Carr would become minister of International Trade Diversification.
  • Trudeau also emphasized the need to move away from trade with the US.
  • The move was a shot at President Donald Trump’s antagonistic trade policies toward Canada.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used a small, under-the-radar move during his Cabinet reshuffle to take a direct shot at President Donald Trump’s policy and the burgeoning US-Canada trade conflict.

Trudeau selected Jim Carr, formerly the minister for Natural Resources, to be the minister of International Trade Diversification on Wednesday as part of the broader reshuffle.

The newly renamed position underlined Trudeau’s desire to shift away Canada from a dependence on trade with the US given the growing threat of a trade war between the two countries.

“There is certainly a level of clarity for Canadians, for businesses, for everyone across this country that we need to diversify our markets,” Trudeau said at a press conference. “We need to ensure that we are not as dependent on the United States.”

The shuffle comes after Trump kicked off a trade fight with Canada by imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum exports to the US. Trudeau responded with a tariff on nearly $13 billion worth of US exports to Canada.

Trudeau has taken a much tougher approach when dealing with Trump since the start of the trade conflict between the two countries. Trudeau called Trump’s decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on Canadian metals “frankly insulting” and confronted the US president during the G7 summit in Quebec.

According to the World Bank, 64% of Canada’s GDP comes from trade compared to just 27% for the US. Given that roughly 70% of Canada’s trade (exports and imports) was conducted with the US, the Canadian economy would be extremely exposed to the US market in the event of a full-blown trade war.

Gerald Butts, one of Trudeau’s top advisers, also touched on the need to find alternative trade partners earlier Wednesday.

“Trade diversification has never been a more urgent national priority. We need to get Canadian resources to markets other than the United States,” Butts tweeted, along with an article about a new pipeline that could help get Canadian oil to India and China.

The need to move away from the US also critical for Canada given Trump’s threats to impose tariffs on cars and auto parts. The US imported $55 billion worth of motor vehicles and parts from Canada in 2017, according to the US Census Bureau data.

Source: Read Full Article