Embarrassing Donald Trump, who takes everything personally and angers easily is not wise. Justin Trudeau’s announcement after Trump left the recent G7 meeting that Canada won’t be pushed around created unintended consequences for himself and our country.
Trump tweeted to the world that Justin Trudeau is “dishonest” and “weak”. Ouch.
Although the PM’s approval rating did go up at home, he inadvertently raised the stakes in negotiations that are critical to our economy and tens of thousand of jobs, and triggered a renewed threat from the mercurial Trump to put a 25% tariffs on cars made in Canada.
Apparently no one ever told the PM that if you are in high-stakes poker game and you don’t know who the mark at the table is, it’s you. A read of the 1987 bestseller attributed to Trump “The Art of the Deal” would help, particularly #2 of Trump’s 11 steps to a winning deal — Protect the downside and the upside will take care of itself.
The downside in this case is the demise of Canada’s auto industry, which supports half a million jobs across Canada, 5000 thousand of which are well paid jobs at Ford’s Oakville Assembly Plant.
Ninety percent of the Ford autos made there are sold in the U.S. If 25% tariffs are introduced Ford workers would face immediate cutbacks.
But let’s be candid. The issue is not only the message.
Trump cabinet members could not have missed the photos of Canada’s Prime Minister boxing at Bronx gym in the middle of a work day, or posing at an international conference in New York in his Wookie socks the same day half million Rohingya Muslim refugees were fleeing violence, or his six-day family costume vacation in India, where a convicted terrorist was invited to an official Canadian reception.
Selfies, silly socks and photo-bombing are supposed to impress? These are dangerous economic times.
Tens of thousand of jobs in Canada are on the line, and we face a recession if auto tariffs are introduced. Yet Justin Trudeau has taken 16 personal days off work since January.
If our Prime Minister doesn’t take his job seriously, why would the U.S President and his cabinet?
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. With Trudeau and trade deals it’s not just the message. It’s the messenger.