Negotiations between Canada and the United States over a new trade agreement continue today after nearly four weeks of tense exchanges.
The relationship between the two countries is more strained than ever.
TL;DR Doug Ford's intervention in NAFTA negotiations in Washington today will fundamentally weaken the position of the Trudeau government.
By threatening to impose crippling tariffs on Canadian auto-parts if negotiations fail, American President Donald Trump is in a position to force Canada into a disadvantageous trade deal.
Last month, news leaked that Trump refuses to compromise at all on some of the most pressing issues at stake, which include the security of Canada's dairy market and Canadian internet freedoms.
The issue of marijuana also looms over negotiations. While Canada is about to legalize recreational use of the drug, it is still illegal under federal American law.
The American Customs and Border Protection Agency has also announced that it would ban for life any Canadian that admits to ever consuming pot.
Now, Doug Ford, the already-infamous conservative premier of Ontario, is set to intervene in trade agreement negotiations.
I will be going to Washington D.C. on Wednesday, accompanied by Minister @mppjimwilson, to support the work our federal partners have been doing to reach a NAFTA deal. Ontario is open for business, and our government will always stand up for Ontario workers. #onpoli #cdnpoli— Doug Ford (@fordnation) September 17, 2018
That intervention is going to greatly complicate talks and weaken the Trudeau government.
That's is precisely Ford's plan.
According to The Star, the government is Ottawa is highly concerned about Ford's arrival in Washington.
Ford and Trump are kindred spirits, if not identical demagogues. Both are bombastic, fiscally conservative, vindictive, and unapologetic.
Ford's presence will fundamentally undermine the negotiating power of Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister, Chrystia Freeland, who is also in Washington.
If Ford is able to relate to Trump and his representatives, he will deal a major political blow to the Trudeau government and weaken its standing heading into a federal election year.
He could also give American officials mixed messages about Canada's economic standing and willingness to compromise.