Biden ‘not a great ally of Canada’: former industry minister James Moore
President Biden has not been a great ally of Canada: former member of the NAFTA council
Former Conservative Industry Minister James Moore is warning that Canada cannot stand idly by as the United States launches repeated trade rounds in key domestic industries.
Moore, now a senior business adviser at law firm Dentons, said that while the rhetoric has cooled considerably since the election of US President Joe Biden, there remains an imbalance between the two countries when it comes to the commercial file.
“My opinion is that Canada is being bullied a bit by the Americans, and that has been the case with the Trump administration, and again now, frankly, with the Biden administration,” he said. -he declares.
“Since Joe Biden became president, yes, we don’t have the rhetorical belligerence of Donald Trump and the random tweets and obscure national security references used as leverage against the Canadian steel and aluminum industries , for example. However, President Biden has frankly not been a great ally of Canada.
The United States has launched a dispute settlement process against the Canadian dairy industry under the new NAFTA, the latest outbreak of a long-standing dispute over Canada’s supply management system. Americans have long argued that the quota system favors Canadian producers at the expense of export opportunities for the US dairy industry. The United States claims that the quota system violates the terms of the revised trade agreement.
The dairy surge is not the only controversial trade issue the two countries are currently grappling with. The United States Department of Commerce is seeking to double tariffs on imports of Canadian softwood lumber, announcing in a preliminary ruling that it intends to increase the combined tariffs for more lumber producers. Canadian work at 18.32 percent, compared with 8.99 percent.
The lumber duty dispute centers on so-called “stumpage fees,” the method that Canada uses to price stumpage rights on Crown land. The battle dates back decades, and Canada has repeatedly successfully argued its case in the dispute before the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Moore, who served in the cabinet of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said the Biden administration could be encouraged to act quickly on these long-standing thorny trade issues due to the Republican Party’s weakened status and warned that Canada should be on guard to defend. its economic interests.
“The battles Canada has with the Biden administration in the United States are not going to go away all the time [soon], especially now in this honeymoon time when the Republican Party is in a mess, with (Republican Rep) Matt Gaetz and the kind of moral or ideological compass lack within that party, ”he said. .
“With President Biden, there seems to be an ideological land grab, people pushing and pushing and going in different directions and people trying to get as much as possible while having the continuity of the three houses.”
Moore said Canada should stick to its guns and understand that it has been successful in defending its national economic policies before international bodies and relying on a similar manual to weather the current storm.
“Canada has argued on this front many times, we have succeeded virtually every time we have pursued these efforts at the WTO and elsewhere, and I think we will succeed over time,” he said.
“Play the long game, but I think the government needs to keep its guard and recognize that within the Democratic Party, the forces of isolationism and the sector-by-sector fighting that we will have as America steps in. . next year I think it will be extremely difficult commercially for many sectors of the Canadian economy.