Friday, May 11, 2012

Obama broadens trade war against Canada & Mexico

Obama is killing relationships with two of our best trading partners - Canada and Mexico. Pardon me that I am reporting old news, but this is not known. The broad assumption is that Bush soured foreign relations. (Evidence?) But Obama is doing real damage. We all know about his killing - oh, delaying - the TransXL pipeline despite it passing all reviews. But there is much more.

At a summit in early April Obama hit both Canada and Mexico. First, Obama is raising the price of oil for us because he is damaging NAFTA which lowered the price of oil from both countries, which are major sources for us.
Obama's neglect of our nearest neighbors and biggest trade partners has created deteriorating relations, a sign of a president who's out of touch with reality. Problems are emerging that aren't being reported. 
Fortunately, the Canadian and Mexican press told the real story. Canada's National Post quoted former Canadian diplomat Colin Robertson as saying the North American Free Trade Agreement and the three-nation alliance it has fostered since 1994 have been so neglected they're "on life support." 
Energy has become a searing rift between the U.S. and Canada and threatens to leave the U.S. without its top energy supplier. 
The Winnipeg Free Press reported that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper warned Obama the U.S. will have to pay market prices for its Canadian oil after Obama's de facto veto of the Keystone XL pipeline. Canada is preparing to sell its oil to China. 
Until now, NAFTA had shielded the U.S. from having to pay global prices for Canadian oil. That's about to change.
Second, this doesn't pass the "you are kidding" test. Anti-trade Obama is accusing Canada of his own sin.
Canada has also all but gone public about something trade watchers have known for a long time: that the U.S. has blocked Canada's entry to the eight-way free trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an alliance of the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Peru, Chile, and Singapore. Both Canada and Mexico want to join and would benefit immensely. 
U.S. media dutifully reported Obama's false claim that Canada, our top trading partner, is too protectionist — for whom, we don't know. Malaysia maybe? — even as it's good enough for NAFTA, the trillion-dollar trade treaty that is the world's largest.
"Every country that is participating is going to have to make some modification," Obama told the press. 
Canada's take was far more blunt: "Our strong sense is that most of the members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership would like to see Canada join," said Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in essence revealing that it's the Obama administration alone that is blocking Canada, and suggesting that payback on energy was coming. 
So much for Obama's early claim that he was going to clean up the "mess" President Bush left with our allies and make friends with the world. One amigo muscling another out of a trade alliance isn't friendly.

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