Canada can't catch a break.
Despite renewed international support for Canada's stand for human rights in its conflict with Saudi Arabia, the oil-rich country continues to enforce severe and often bizarre punishment, like recalling all of its students, ceasing new trade, and selling off state bank assets.
Then, of course, there's Trump. This hits a little closer to home.
Under the current administration, the United States, once Canada's staunchest ally, has been increasingly hostile in its dealings with its neighbour to the north.
The Trump administration is operating with the mindset that Canada represents a social and economic threat. Trump has even labelled Canada a danger to national security.
The American president takes issue specifically with the free trade policies under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that have governed exchange between Canada, the U.S., and Mexico.
Trup has undermined NAFTA in his rhetoric since he first announced his candidacy for president three years ago. Now in office, he intends to completely renegotiate agreement.
The best way he can do this: cut Canada out of initial talks, arrange a separate agreement with Mexico, and then strongarm Canada into a disadvantageous deal.
This is of the upmost concern to Canadian officials, who have been attempting to arrange three-way talks.
That has only further irritated Trump, who now has issued a public threat to the Canadian government and people.
In a Friday night tweet, Trump declared that "Canada must wait. their Tariffs and Trade Barriers are far too high. Will tax cars if we can't make a deal!"
Deal with Mexico is coming along nicely. Autoworkers and farmers must be taken care of or there will be no deal. New President of Mexico has been an absolute gentleman. Canada must wait. Their Tariffs and Trade Barriers are far too high. Will tax cars if we can’t make a deal!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018
Let's break this down.
Trump has long used the possibility of tariffs on Canadian auto parts as a scare tactic. Such levies would cost hundreds of jobs in southern Ontario, where the eoncomy is largely reliant on the production of its auto manufacturers.
It has been largely reported that auto tariffs would lead to a recession in Ontario that could become a dire nationwide economic downturn.
Thus, in this single tweet, Trump has threatened the livelihood of Canadian workers and the health of the entire Canadian economy.
This statement should scare Canadian officials and citizens. That's Trump's intent.
We'll have to play his game and wait to see how NAFTA negotiations turn out before we know if Canada is truly in danger.