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Trump Could Bring Back “America First”. What Could Happen to Canada’s Natural Resource Exports?


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By Resource Works

A second Trump presidency likely means more tariffs, and Canada’s energy and forestry sectors will feel the impact.

As the passing of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney was reported, we thought back to his ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the United States and Mexico.

The question now is: If Donald Trump becomes the next President of the U.S., what happens to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) of 2020? The USMCA came after Trump threatened to pull out of NAFTA in 2018.

On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States recently overturned a ruling from the Colorado Supreme Court that barred Trump from appearing on the ballot during the 2024 presidential election, clearing a major obstacle in his goal of once again winning the presidency in November.

If Trump does win again in November, stand by for round two of the “America First” campaign of his first term.

“After decades of the status quo, President Trump has made it clear that Americans will no longer take back seat to the rest of the world,” said Ken Farnaso, who was a deputy national press secretary during Trump’s ultimately unsuccessful 2020 re-election campaign.

So prepare, for starters, for a 10 percent tariff on imports into the U.S. — and Canada is the second largest source of those imports.

Trump’s promised tariffs would hammer Canadian exports to the U.S. In 2021 (the latest figures we see), those exports were worth $355 billion, including oil ($78.8 billion), automobiles ($26.4 billion), and natural gas ($13.4 billion).

What would Trump do about increased exports of Canadian oil to the U.S. through the Trans Mountain Expansion Project? What about our natural-gas exports, which have helped the U.S. become the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG)?

And a Trump presidency would undoubtedly mean more trouble for Canada’s forestry sector. It has long been fighting “entirely unwarranted,”  U.S. tariffs on our softwood lumber — and now has been told that America will soon boost the border-crossing charges to 13.86 percent, up from 8.05 percent.

(Under the U.S. Tariff Act, the Department of Commerce determines whether goods are being sold at less than fair value or if they’re benefiting from subsidies provided by foreign governments. U.S. producers insist that provincial stumpage fees are so low as to amount to an unfair subsidy.)

And on foreign affairs, note Trump’s tough promise for China: tariffs of 60 percent or higher on imported Chinese goods.  And, he has added, “Maybe it’s going to be more than that.”

This comes after the trade war he triggered during his first term as president when he imposed $250 billion in China tariffs. That disrupted the global economy, hammered consumers, and hit stock markets.

U.S. stock-market watchers have shuddered at this new promise. Nikki Haley, who suspended her campaign for the Republican nomination on Wednesday morning, has said: “What Donald Trump’s about to do, is he’s going to raise every (American) household’s expenses by $2,600 a year.”

Trump has said nothing about current U.S.-Canada relations, but has in the past declared:

  • “We lose with Canada — big-league. Tremendous, tremendous trade deficits with Canada.”
  • “Canada has been very difficult to deal with. . . . They’re very spoiled.”
  • “Canada, what they’ve done to our dairy farm workers, it’s a disgrace.”

Roland Paris, a Canada-based associate fellow of the U.S. and the Americas Program writes:

“ Canada is not the only country bracing for Donald Trump’s possible return to the White House – but few have more at stake.”

“Three-quarters of Canada’s goods exports, accounting for more than one-quarter of the country’s gross domestic product, go to the U.S. Given Trump’s impulsiveness and deeply protectionist instincts, Canada’s business and political leaders are understandably nervous.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told business leaders in Montreal:  “It wasn’t easy the first time, and if there is a second time, it won’t be easy either.”

Indeed. If the second time begins with Trump being elected on November 5, and sworn in on January 20, 2025, it could be a nasty case of “Oh, Canada.”

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Refuting the ancient myth of overpopulation

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From LifeSiteNews

By Aidan Grogan

Recent findings decimate the Malthusian outlook and render advocacy of population control not only ill-informed and inexcusable, but frankly anti-human.

(American Institute for Economic Research) — Prince Philip once said, “In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, to contribute something to solving overpopulation.” The late Duke of Edinburgh passed away in 2021, but the hysterical sentiment he expressed about overpopulation lives on.

YouGov poll found that overpopulation concerns are widespread among adults across the planet, with nearly half of sampled Americans believing that the world’s population is too high. This view is shared by 76 percent of Hungarians and 69 percent of Indians, according to the poll.

Overpopulation and ecological disasters have been the themes of numerous blockbuster movies, including ZPD (1972), Soylent Green (1973), Idiocracy (2006), and Elysium (2013). Mainstream news outlets have repeatedly promoted the apocalyptic idea to the public, with headlines such as “Science proves kids are bad for Earth. Morality suggests we stop having them” (NBC News). The progressive magazine Fast Company released a video titled “Why having kids is the worst thing you can do for the planet.”

The theory of overpopulation, and the collectivist idea that human reproduction must be limited, even by force, is nothing new. It first appeared in the ancient Mesopotamian Atrahasis epic, where the gods control the human population by infertility, infanticide, and appointing a priest class to limit childbirth.

Plato and Aristotle both endorsed a form of proto-eugenics and population control. In The Republic, Socrates and Glaucon conclude that an owner controlling the breeding of his dogs and birds to prevent their degeneration should also apply to the human species. The guardians would be tasked with deciding who is allowed to reproduce and who should be prohibited from having offspring. In the Politics, Aristotle advocated for state-mandated abortions of children with deformities or in cases where couples are having too many children and contributing to overpopulation.

The decline of Greek civilization in the second century BCE was not a consequence of an excess number of births, but precisely the opposite. Polybius attributed the downfall of Greece in his time to a decay of population which emptied out the cities and resulted in a failure of productiveness. It was not warfare and pestilence which reduced the birth rate, but decadence. The idle men of Greece, according to Polybius, were more interested in money and pleasure than marriage and child-rearing.

Two millennia later, English economist Thomas Malthus resurrected the old Mesopotamian myth with his 1798 An Essay on the Principle of Population. Malthus claimed that population growth increases geometrically while food production increases only arithmetically, which he believed would lead to widespread famine if the rapid propagation of humanity were not obstructed.

He identified two checks, one natural and one human-induced, which could keep population growth limited: preventive checks, such as delayed marriage or sexual abstinence, that stabilize the birth rate and evade the natural calamities of positive checks – famines, pestilences, earthquakes, floods, etc. – which represent nature’s striking back against the pressures of unhindered population growth.

Malthus preferred the former, but if unsuccessful, supported appalling and brutal depopulation measures. He suggested policies to “make the streets narrower, crowd more people into the houses, and court the return of the plague.” He also recommended banning “specific remedies for ravaging diseases.”

READ: U.S. birth rate hit record low last year, signaling surge in childlessness

Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton, used Darwin’s theory of evolution to develop eugenics – a pseudo-scientific theory that the human race could be improved through controlled breeding.

Subsidized by some of the largest philanthropic organizations in the United States, including the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Institution, eugenics was embraced by many leaders of the American progressive movement, who favored involuntary sterilization and immigration restriction.

Margaret Sanger, the founder of the American Birth Control League – later to be renamed Planned Parenthood – denigrated charity and referred to the poor as “human waste.” She and her companions considered several names for their movement, such as “neo-Malthusianism,” “population control,” and “race control,” before finally settling on “birth control.”

The eugenicists’ fervent collectivism and disregard for America’s founding principles affirming the inherent dignity and rights of every individual were best expressed through Madison Grant’s The Passing of the Great Race, in which he wrote:

Mistaken regard for what are believed to be divine laws and a sentimental belief in the sanctity of human life tend to prevent both the elimination of defective infants and the sterilization of such adults as are themselves of no value to the community. The laws of nature require the obliteration of the unfit and human life is valuable only when it is of use to the community or race.

Eugenics laws were implemented across the United States beginning with Indiana in 1907. By the Second World War, around 60,000 Americans had undergone sterilization.

In Britain, eugenics was enthusiastically championed by socialists such as John Maynard Keynes, George Bernard Shaw, and H.G. Wells. Keynes wrote an outline for a book called Prolegomena to a New Socialism, in which he listed “eugenics, population” as “chief preoccupations of the state.”

Eugenics – at least under that official title – began to fade after the harsh realities of the Holocaust were unveiled, but the Malthusian presuppositions which undergirded their movement never vanished.

Stanford biologist Paul R. Ehrlich’s 1968 book The Population Bomb re-invigorated the Malthusian craze for a new generation, predicting imminent worldwide famines and other catastrophes due to overpopulation. In the prologue, he wrote: “We can no longer afford merely to treat the symptom of the cancer of population growth; the cancer itself must be cut out. Population control is the only answer.”

That same year, a group of European scientists concerned about the future of the planet founded an NGO called the Club of Rome. Their first major publication, Limits to Growth (1972), attacked the pursuit of material gain and continuous economic expansion. Two of the Club of Rome’s most prominent members openly declared in their 1991 book The First Global Revolution that humanity is the real enemy:

In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill… All these dangers are caused by human intervention in natural processes, and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy then is humanity itself.

At the time of the publication of Ehrlich’s doomsday book and the Club of Rome’s founding, the world’s population stood at 3.6 billion, and nearly half of people worldwide were living in poverty. Over the next five decades, the global population more than doubled to 7.7 billion, yet fewer than 9 percent of people remain in poverty today, and famines have virtually disappeared.

Ehrlich’s hypothesis was rejected by economist Julian Simon in his 1981 book The Ultimate Resource, in which he argued that a rising number of “skilled, spirited, and hopeful people” results in more ingenuity, less scarcity, and lower costs in the long run. In other words, the larger the human population, the greater the collective brain power our species may wield to innovate, overcome problems, and benefit everyone through increased abundance. The ultimate resource, according to Simon, is people.

Recent research from Gale L. Pooley and Marian L. Tupy has vindicated Simon’s optimistic view. For every one-percent increase in population, commodity prices tend to fall by around one percent. In the years 1980-2017, the planet’s resources became 380 percent more abundant.

These findings decimate the Malthusian outlook and render advocacy of population control not only ill-informed and inexcusable, but frankly anti-human. The ecological cataclysms predicted by Ehrlich and the Club of Rome haven’t come true. Nature hasn’t struck back against a rapidly increasing population in any manner anticipated by Malthus.

As former U.S. Department of Energy undersecretary for science Steven E. Koonin pointed out in his 2021 book Unsettled, U.N. and U.S. government climate data show the following: 1) humans have had no detectable impact on hurricanes over the past century, 2) Greenland’s ice sheet isn’t shrinking any more rapidly today than it was 80 years ago, and 3) the net economic impact of human-induced climate change will be minimal through at least the end of this century.

Pooley and Tupy, however, caution that population growth alone is not enough to generate what they term “superabundance,” as they titled their recent book. The innovation required to sustain an ever-increasing world population demands economic and personal freedom. Collectivism and central planning will only restrict the human ingenuity, ideas, and enterprises that will pave the way toward a brighter, more prosperous future.

It is certainly time to lay to rest Malthusian theory and the overpopulation hysteria it has aroused. We must avoid the cynical outlook on humanity which regards us as net destroyers, a viral pathogen ravaging the earth, and instead opt for the more positive – and true – vision of human beings and human destiny. We are net creators.

Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Economic Research.

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Energy exports continue to fuel the Canadian economy

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From the Fraser Institute

By Jock Finlayson

Without exports of oil, natural gas and other energy goods, Canada’s cumulative trade deficit with the rest of the world—which stood at $130 billion in the decade ending in 2023—would have ballooned to $1 trillion.

Energy sits at the heart of Canada’s export economy, even though some federal policymakers and provincial governments appear to be discomfited by that fact.

In recent years, energy has supplied 20–25 percent of Canada’s total international exports (goods plus services combined), with crude oil, refined petroleum products, and natural gas making up the lion’s share of our energy-related shipments to other countries. Canada’s energy export basket also includes coal, uranium, and electricity.

In the last two decades, energy has become Canada’s leading export sector, mainly owing to higher oil production volumes, rising hydrocarbon exports, and still-robust global demand for fossil fuels (which provide 80 percent of the world’s primary energy). Measured in millions of barrels of oil equivalent (BOE), Canadian conventional oil and gas production rose from 4.5 million BOE per day in 2015 to 5.4 million/day last year, with most of the additional output destined for the United States. With the completion of pipeline expansion projects and the looming start-up of liquefied natural gas (LNG) production on the West Coast, oil and gas are set to play an even bigger role in Canada’s economy and export portfolio in the coming years.

A May 2024 modelling study by S&P Global Commodity Insights predicts a further jump in conventional oil and gas output of between 0.5 and 1.0 million BOE/day by 2035, assuming the federal government doesn’t impose draconian caps on production in the sector as part of its shambolic climate policy agenda.  Based on that scenario, S&P estimates that production, capital and operating spending in Canada’s conventional oil and gas industry will add up to $1.3 trillion to Canada’s gross domestic product by 2035. This forecast is premised on a modest (8 percent) increase in output and further declines in the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions intensity due to efficiency measures, advances in technology, greater use of carbon capture, and other factors.

To illustrate the contribution that energy makes to Canada’s prosperity, the Coalition for A Better Future recently estimated that without exports of oil, natural gas and other energy goods, Canada’s cumulative trade deficit with the rest of the world—which stood at $130 billion in the decade ending in 2023—would have ballooned to $1 trillion.

Thanks to energy production, Canada garners up to $200 billion of additional export receipts each year—and the figure is set to rise significantly in the next decade. This outsized stream of export earnings furnishes the means to pay for imports, supports hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs, and generates tens of billions of dollars of extra revenues for Canadian governments.

In Canada’s case, it is also worth noting that energy reliably produces the largest trade surplus of any sector, by a wide margin. And, as noted above, that surplus will increase in size over the rest of this decade and possibly beyond, mainly due to oil and gas output and exports climbing from current levels.

Averaged over the period 2022-23, Canada’s two-way trade in energy goods yielded a net annual surplus of almost $150 billion.  This dwarfs the surpluses posted in other natural resource-based sectors such as metal ores, non-metallic minerals, agri-food, and forest products. Large trade surpluses in energy—and, to a lesser extent, in other natural resource industries—offset chronic Canadian trade deficits in consumer goods, machinery and equipment, electronic products, and other high-tech goods. Canada also runs a trade deficit of $35-40 billion in motor vehicles and parts.

Trudeau government ministers are fond of talking up (and subsidizing) Canadian non-fossil fuel energy industries, like (carbon-free) electricity, biofuels, hydrogen (production of which currently is almost non-existent in Canada) and the “clean tech” sector. However, except for electricity, these segments of the Canadian energy sector are very small in size and export little. And while the “clean tech” industry does hold considerable promise over the medium term, today it accounts for less than one percent of Canada’s international exports.

When it comes to energy exports, the reality for Canada is that oil, natural gas, and other fossil fuel products dominate the picture—and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

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