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Trump’s pledge to put America first leaves Canada behind on jobs and trade


There is much about Donald Trump that Americans are skeptical about, including his fitness to be President.

Mr. Trump enters the White House with the lowest approval rating of any incoming U.S. president in nearly four decades.

But when it comes to putting America first and bringing jobs back to Middle America, the U.S. people are fully on board with their bullying and erratic President. And they will inevitably hold him to the central “America first” pledge of Friday’s inaugural speech.

‘Only America first’: Donald Trump’s inauguration speech in under four minutes
(The Globe and Mail)

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Cross-party elitism has infected Canadian politics, too


People like me have a lot to answer for.

You know who I mean: those glib experts who get on the television, give TED Talks or write Globe columns extolling the virtues of free trade, immigration, balanced budgets and higher productivity. But all of these things come with a cost and those of us who believe in the virtues of open-market friendly societies have been too cavalier in asserting that economic growth will obviously create new opportunities for the people whose jobs disappear in this brave new world of economic efficiency.


Also on The Globe and Mail

Divided societies, rising populism top risk list at Davos
(Reuters)
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Rate cut may lurk beneath Bank of Canada’s tame outlook


The Bank of Canada’s newly released economic outlook is, essentially, the forecasting equivalent of a duck.

On the surface, calmly floating along. Underneath, a fury of frantic footwork just to stay in place.

And, with Donald Trump’s trade agenda disturbing the waters, drifting perceptibly toward the shores of an interest rate cut.

Poloz says any changes to U.S. trade would have ‘complicated’ effects for Canada
(The Globe and Mail)

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Will the ‘madwoman’ gambit work for Britain’s PM May?



Call it the madwoman theory of trade negotiations. If you deny me, I will press the button and we will both extinguish ourselves in “an act of calamitous self-harm.” That, in short, is the strategy outlined by Theresa May on Tuesday in her speech on the coming Brexit talks with the European Union.

Britain is leaving the EU and the single market, that much is clear, but the Prime Minister says she will demand tariff-free access to the EU, even while remaining free to do trade deals elsewhere with all and sundry. If Brussels demurs, if the European Commission says that trade is not quantum mechanics (you can’t be both in and out of a club at the same time), then Britain will “be free to change the basis of its economic model.”


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Brexit hit pushes up UK inflation
(Reuters)
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May touts clean Brexit break but it could be anything but


If delays in policy, that is, limbo, are worse than bad policy, then British Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech did Britain and the European Union a favour on Tuesday. She said, in no uncertain terms, that Britain will make a clean break from the EU – goodbye common market – and go it alone while it negotiates trade and customs deals with the remnants of the EU and everyone else beyond the Channel Island fog.


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Prime Minister says Britain cannot remain member of single market after Brexit
(Reuters)
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Pivot or perish: Canada’s economic dilemma in 2017


More than 90 years ago, an enterprising businessman in Cincinnati named Noah McVicker came up with a clever solution to a vexing problem. Wallpaper was popular in homes in the 1920s and 1930s – but because of coal heating and oil lamps, it got filthy. Mr. McVicker developed a putty-like substance that could be pressed onto the walls, cleaning them without damaging the wallpaper.


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Justin Trudeau ‘happy’ to discuss NAFTA with Donald Trump
(CP Video)
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A U.S. border tax won’t fix trade deficit, but it could clobber Canada


The good news is that Donald Trump didn’t mention Canada once during his rambling and combative news conference this week.

Mexico, yes. China, too.

But just because Canada isn’t the main target of the U.S. president-elect’s wrath as he prepares to move into the White House doesn’t mean there won’t be heavy collateral damage here.


Also on The Globe and Mail

U.S. dollar tumbles, bonds win as Trump trade fizzles
(Reuters)
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For Theresa May, losing access to EU market is a sacrifice worth making


Sphinx-like and condescending, like a teacher speaking to a child, British Prime Minister Theresa May has finally revealed to us her plans for Britain’s exit from the EU and its Single Market.

She didn’t quite spell it out and her cryptic remarks in a recent Sky News interview still left reporters scrambling for answers: “Did she really mean that she would sacrifice access to the Single Market in order to control immigration?”


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Video: Britain’s EU envoy deplores ‘muddled thinking’ over Brexit
(Reuters)
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Canada’s next trade and economic era


Over the past hundred years, Canada’s economy has evolved through two quite different economic eras, guided by trade policy.

A new trade and economic era for Canada is now at hand. A protectionist Trump administration is accelerating the emergence of this era, but the trends have been under way for a decade. This , has more of a role for and is about emerging technologies and services in areas such as a low-carbon future. Is Canada ready to act decisively to shape and strengthen its position in this new era?


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There will always be work – it’s part of the human condition


Can we run out of work?

Donald Trump’s supporters fear so. For them, the Rust Belt is the future unless things change. Many futurists also see the end of work as a result of mechanization, and argue for giving people a basic income because if work is unavailable, we need to give them the means to survive.


Also on The Globe and Mail

Alibaba CEO pledges 1 million U.S. jobs, meets Trump
(Reuters)
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