Since the election of Donald Trump, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been under threat. Initially, the harsh words of walls, import tariffs, and immigration reform were directed squarely at Mexico. That all changed this week when president Trump “laid down the law” in an effort to make Canada quiver insecurely in its great northern boots.
In a speech that reminded me of a WWE match promo, the president threatened to make changes to NAFTA or exit this “very, very bad deal.” Since the president hosted Wrestlemania 4 and 5 at his Atlantic City casino, he knows what a good wrestling shoot looks and sounds like.
There is no cheaper heat (more wrestling jargon) than Trump vs. Canada. There are no real consequences, only personal benefits. Talking tough appeals to President Trump’s base. Following his slogan of “making America great again,” the president realizes full well that talking tough is great for the Trump Presidency brand.
Talking tough to Russia and North Korea is dangerous. North Korea or Russia calling Trump’s bluff could mean World War III on a nuclear scale. What possible negative consequences could come from Trump talking tough and pushing around his maple leaf neighbour to the north? Basically nothing. Canada can feel comfort in the fact that they are now in a club with other verbal Trump targets like Germany, China, Mexico and France. Any good wrestler has more than one rival. Canada is now in the trade main event with President Trump, whether Trudeau likes it or not.
If you don’t appreciate the comparison to a wrestling promo interview, maybe a movie will resonate with you.
The plot of Canadian Bacon saw a very unpopular president convinced the only way to improve his popularity was to invade Canada. As John Candy’s last movie, Canadian Bacon seems ridiculous, but it would appear to be a very similar talking tough strategy towards Canada being exercised by the current U.S. president.
Like any wrestling rivalry, the heat eventually subsides and a tag team is formed, which is what I fully expect to happen here. Everything is not always as it seems in the world of politics or wrestling. A spoiler for the gullible: wrestling is not real and neither are the one-sided threats sold this week.
Update: Canadian government perceives Trump’s recent Canada-bashing as a negotiating tactic, & its response: nothing https://t.co/ox5LDfIpJ8
— Alexander Panetta (@Alex_Panetta) April 21, 2017
Backstage and off camera, wrestlers usually get along. Just imagine Trump and Trudeau calling each other at night, smoking cigars while sitting in a hot tub, and laughing about the things each other said that day. Well, maybe I wouldn’t go that far…