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This week I will call my U.S. senators and House representative and urge them to stop the God-King’s trade war. Please call yours as well.
This is not really about protectionism. While the God-King fulminated about Canadian dairy policy, in fact the U.S. has been doing for dairy products exactly what China has done for steel: subsidizing overproduction by agribusiness dairy farms, such that U.S. dairy farmers destroyed 100,000,000 gallons of milk last year alone. But those subsidies aren’t enough to prop up small, family-owned dairy farms, many of which are going under.
In Canada, by contrast, federal supply controls limit dairy production and tariffs keep U.S. agribusiness from flooding the market and underpricing Canadian producers, so Canadian dairy farmers have steady markets and reliable incomes. Yes, that means Canadians pay up to three times the U.S. price for milk. But they get milk that is free of growth hormones and antibiotics, and the Canadian system is extremely popular in Canada.
And no, that doesn’t violate NAFTA or other trade treaties … because those treaties excluded dairy products for a variety of reasons, including U.S. agribusiness’ use of growth hormones and antibiotics.
But again, this isn’t really about protectionism. The most revealing statements of the weekend were the God-King’s and his advisors use of the phrase “piggy bank” to describe trade among the Western allies. A piggy bank is a familial or personal repository.
As the God-King, his advisors, and many conservatives see it, the Western nations are a family in which the U.S. is ‘Dad.’ For example, a U.S. commenter at the Guardian article linked above replied to a Canadian: “You owe your very existence to the U.S.” … an extension of the arrogant condescension with which too many Americans treat Europeans. (“You’d all be speaking German/Russian if we hadn’t saved your asses!”)
And that’s why the God-King and his acolytes went ballistic when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau repeated, in a news conference after the G7 summit, the same comments he made earlier last week. The God-King and his acolytes see Prime Minister Trudeau and the other G7 leaders as disobedient children.
In declaring tariffs on their steel products, he was ‘Dad’ choosing to reduce their ‘allowance,’ which he and his acolytes believe is his prerogative as “head of the family.” When ‘Dad’ says you’ll get a smaller ‘allowance,’ you don’t argue and you don’t retaliate. And if you do argue or retaliate, you get punished. Period.
That’s why the God-King referred to Prime Minister Trudeau as “Justin” and talked about “robbing the piggy bank.”
This isn’t really about milk in Canada, or failing family dairy farms in Wisconsin. This is about whether the President of the United States is ‘Dad’ and the leaders of our closest allies are mere ‘children’ who will do as they’re told, when they’re told. To defy ‘Dad,’ especially when he’s about to do important business (“We have a world to run”) with someone like Kim Jong Un, is to embarrass ‘Dad’ and make ‘Dad’ look weak – as trade war hawk Peter Navarro explained in saying “there’s a special place in hell” for Prime Minister Trudeau because he “betrayed” the God-King.
And all of that is why I ask you to join me in calling your senators and House reps, and urging them to stop the God-King’s trade war. Other nations are not our children, and we can’t expect them to meekly accept a lower ‘allowance.’ As sovereign nations, they will retaliate … and a trade war will hurt everyone involved.
Credit: Adobe Stock Images. Standard License.