American president Donald Trump has made clear his intention to fight a trade war with Canada.
Once considered the two closest economic and military allies in the world, the United States and Canada have quickly become mutually antagonistic. Trump's personal attacks against the Canadian prime minister, disdain for the Canadian people and economic independence, and aggressive border policy have damaged the relationship between the two countries irrecoverably.
But on the issue of trade, especially, Canada poses a "national security threat" to the United States, according to the Trump administration.
In fact, Trump has targeted all international trading practices that do not benefit American companies above all others. That's why his administration recently published a lengthy report detailing just how countries around the world screw the United States.
Actually the report is hilarious. Its name: "The 2018 Report on FOREIGN TRADE BARRIERS." Yes, the title is in all-caps. The whole thing reads like the "Burn Book" from Mean Girls. The document is full of passive-aggressive remarks. With dumbed-down language, frequent hyperbole, and aggressive attitude, the report is very Trump-esque. The president seems to have even affected the language of American official documents.
The document includes a lengthy section on Canada, the bane of Trump's existence.
So without further ado, here are eleven hilarious ways the Trump administration claims Canada screws the United States:
Canadians don't watch enough American television
Canada has quotas for the number of Canadian programs on television. Such restrictions ensure that Canada has a thriving media and entertainment industry. The Trump administration takes issue with those rules, which restrict the amount of American content that Canadians can access through normal broadcasting. Basically, the Trump administration wants the Canadian government to allow its citizens to watch more American television shows.
Canada rips off American television shows
The administration also claims that Canadian cable suppliers pick up signals from American broadcasters in border states and distribute them with their own advertising across the country without the consent of those American companies, thereby ripping off American networks and television show producers.
Canada is too healthy
Health Canada requires special labelling for food products high in sodium, saturated fat, and sugars (i.e. all food items manufactured in the United States). The regulations pose a hurdle to American food companies looking to sell to the Canadian market.
Canadians don't drink enough American alcohol
To protect local producers, Canada sets limits for the amount of alcohol a traveller can bring back into the country. Moreover, imports of American alcohol through agencies like the SAQ in Quebec are strictly regulated. The Trump administration wants that to change.
Canadian financial systems are too transparent
The Canadian government requires that banks that operate within the country submit reports detailing both their domestic and international dealings. The Trump administration doesn't like that Canadian officials can review American financial operations. American financial institutions and oversight agencies are notoriously corrupt. I wonder if that has anything to do with this complaint...
Canada steals American intellectual property
The Trump administration has placed Canada on a "watch list" with countries like Venezuela and India for state-allowed intellectual property theft. The administration claims that Canadian authorities don't do enough to prevent the piracy of American intellectual property.
American companies can't take over Canadian ones
In order for foreign investors to buy Canadian companies, they have to submit a report to Canadian federal authorities ensuring that the aquisition provides a "net benefit" to Canadian consumers. Apparently, the Trump administration thinks that that inhibits the ability of wealth American companies to exploit Canadian markets. Under current law, American investors can't simply purchase Canadian companies and rake in the profits without providing some gain for Canadians.
Canada doesn't have enough privitization
The Trump administration specifically takes issue with Hydro Québec. Because so many services in Canada are publicly owned and hold monopolies in their sectors, American companies have no opportunity to take advantage of those Canadian markets. Simply, the Trump administration wants American companies to be able to exploit Canadians in the healthcare and energy markets just as they do in the United States.
Canada runs a "restrictive telecommunication regime"
This complaint makes Canada sound like a brutal dictatorship. In fact, the Trump administration takes issue with the fact that telecommunication companies that operate in Canada must have boards of directors with over 80% Canadian membership. This rule allows Canadian consumers to maintain independence from American companies, over which the Canadian government has no control to regulate prices.
Canadians don't eat enough American cheese products
Canada carefully protects the integrity of its dairy industry. Trump doesn't like that. Canadian dairy protectionism and health standards prevent the import of American "dry milk protein concentrate," which sounds disgusting.
According to the Trump administration trade summary, the United States promises to "closely monitor" Canadian developments in social and digital media to make sure any innovations don't "constitute a barrier to digital trade." In order words, the Trump administration wants to make sure American companies continue to dominate social media and digital development.