PortandTerminal.com, April 4, 2020
Canadian’s were horrified to learn that the Trump Administration asked Minnesota-based 3M to stop sending N95 respirators to Canada. Many see it as a betrayal that can never be forgiven.
TORONTO – Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was polite, and on point when he addressed the news yesterday that the Trump administration had told 3M to stop sending N95 respirators to Canada.
Trudeau said that it would be a “mistake” for the U.S. to limit exports of medical supplies to Canada in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. He also subtly reminded President Trump that it would not be in America’s best interest “to see interruptions in the supply chain in either direction.”
Fortunately and to their credit, 3M also recognises that it would not be in America’s interest to betray Canada, a country that supplies them with the ONLY source of a key strategic raw material used in the manufacture of PPE such as surgical masks, surgical gowns and so on.
3M said that halting exports would cause other countries (eg Canada) to retaliate and cease exports to the U.S., leading to an overall decrease in the number of respirators available in the U.S. “That is the opposite of what we and the administration, on behalf of the American people, both seek,” the statement says.
Canadians horrified and furious
Canadians across the country we less politic than their Prime Minister when they learned about the betrayal of the American President.
The timing of the news could not have been worse. On the same day that Canadians learned of the Trump betrayal, they also were told by the Ontario Government that its models show that up to 15,000 Ontario residents will die in the coming weeks from the pandemic.
Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford who, while polarising in his “PreCovid Days”, has shown himself to be a strong leader during the crisis, expressed the dark mood of the country in a televised statement.
“I can’t stress how disappointed I am with President Trump for making this decision … I’m not going to rely on President Trump, or any PM or President of any other country again. Our manufacturing, we’re gearing up and once they start, we’re never going to stop them” Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario
Ford had widely been criticized as a “wannabe Trump” by many in Ontario in the past. No longer. “We’re the closest trading partners in the world. We’re connected at the hip. I am not going to rely on President Trump ever again.” Ford vowed.
Reactions to the news on social media echoed Premier Doug Ford’s anger.
“Simple solution. Stop sending raw materials and ensure @POTUS agrees to Canada having its fill before sending the balance to US markets.” was a typical reaction for many who shared their reactions.
What does the future hold?
The trade relationship of the United States with Canada is the second-largest in the world after China and the United States. The two countries also share the world’s longest undefended border. Canadians used to see these two things as a strength.
The Trump administration though has proven to be an unreliable friend. At one point last month even suggesting that troops be sent to defend the US/Canadian border during the coronavirus crisis.
Canadians found the suggestion to be as amusing as it was offensive. With its significantly higher covid19 infection rates and its lack of universal medical coverage, there is ZERO interest amongst Canadians in going to the United States right now.
Many Canadians now though will view the deep integration of the United States and Canadian economies as a weakness that was used against them when they were vulnerable. Canada has just witnessed its “special relationship” with their American cousins being tested. They don’t like what they saw.
As one social media user it put it succinctly, “Post-pandemic supply chains will be a helluva lot shorter. Mark my words.”
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