A Trump Presidency, Civil War and Canada’s Involvement.

A Trump Presidency, Civil War and Canada’s Involvement.

Trump won on the campaign “Make America Great Again”. The slogan then morphed into “…safe again.” “…strong again.” “one again.” and even “…rich again.”. This “America first” ideology is more of a revolutionary statement than a political campaign slogan. It sucker punches globalization, a collective ideology that has been entrenching itself for decades.

The United States is in a civil War that has been growing for many decades. It is not played out using guns and bullets but with words, world views and ideological debates in digital/media circles. The electorate has swung from left to right, right to left and now back to the right. It has for so many cycles leaving most historians with vertigo. In this war there will be no shedding of blood, however there will be plenty of what all war brings: uncertainty and upheaval. There will be economic turmoil, catastrophic change and disorder. Casualties will be things like: political correctness, mainstream media control, massive realignments in government power and economic flow to name just a few.

Though his presidency hasn’t even started as of this writing, Tsunami like change is (in my opinion) much more of a certainty than a guess. Trumps picks for his inner circle (cabinet) is like choosing the who’s who of change agents. General “Mad Dog Mattis” for Secretary of Defense, Tom Price (vocal opponent of Obamacare) as Health Secretary, and Scott Pruit (anti-global warmer) as head of the EPA. This short list of powerful change agents continues to rise as Trump shakes the world with his first level of global “renegotiation” tactics.

For Canadians to economically survive the coming changes will take savvy business and negotiation abilities. These abilities must first be found at the federal political level. Can our Prime Minister go toe to toe with the Donald? Or will he be as Kevin O’Leary predicts “Like Bambi verses Godzilla”.

Just think, as Canada gears up for a Carbon Tax due to “global warming” Scott Pruit heads to the EPA. I assume Glider orders will be on the rise and “deleting Pollution Control devices” will be nodded and winked at. The fuel consumption of US Trucking fleets will immediately improve and cost over mile will drop compared to Canada’s.

The future competitive environment will be even more dependent on a practical streamlined government, free of cumbersome taxes and restrictions. Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax heads in the wrong direction. It will make Canada, especially trucking, much less competitive.

Many may be concerned about Trump tearing up NAFTA… the truth is it hardly even pays to talk about NAFTA any more. When carbon taxes are implemented Canada’s competitiveness will be well below the pace and behind the pack to successfully negotiate anything near a respectable free trade benefit. It’s kind of hard to run a competitive marathon with a broken leg.

If Canada can’t compete internationally, our GDP will eventually shrink as our products are left on the shipping docks. Trump’s America first will place Canada a distant second, third, fourth (or further). First to shrink will be oil sales, then auto parts, and softwood lumber… other industries will soon or eventually follow. Our only defense will be a shrunken dollar. A low Loonie may save us short term but will eventually make purchasing items built outside Canada too expensive. President Trump will not have to entice business into (or back to) the US, they will be enticed (pushed) OUT of our borders by a much better business environment south.

Can anyone imagine a high carbon tax on trucking similar to fuel tax, even compounding it? In my second book I had color charts showing our Canadian fuel tax rate already twice as high as the US. Our Country is already being strangled by taxes and over regulation. If we as a country don’t focus on “Canada first” or “Making Canada great again” we don’t have to worry about global warming, our future will be cold.

Robert Scheper

Robert D Scheper has a Masters Degree in Business Administration and is the author of two books, “Making Your Miles Count: Taxes, Taxes, Taxes” and "Making Your Miles Count: Choosing a Trucking Company".

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