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Letter: A brief tipsheet on trade speak and tariffs

National flags of the United States, Canada, and Mexico fly in the breeze in New Orleans recently. The North American Free Trade Agreement between the three countries is the subject of renegotiations.
Negotiators from the United States, Canada and Mexico continue to review changes to NAFTA. - The Canadian Press

For Canadians and Americans — a translation of NAFTA/“trade war” coverage:

Main tips:

1. When you hear “concession” it’s usually a win for consumers/taxpayers (in both countries).

2. When you hear “protect,” “tariff,” or “retaliate,” (from either country), it means consumers/taxpayers will pay.

Related stories:

Editorial: Tariffs and Trumpspeak

Letter to the editor: Trump the economist … not!

Also:

When you hear “sovereignty,” it’ll come from someone living off of your taxes/union dues. They’ll tell you your country will soon disappear. They’ve been saying that for 35 years.

When you hear “fair trade,” don’t assume you agree on what’s “fair.”

When you hear “corporations,” remember: corporations are just business associations. All it takes to incorporate is fees, paperwork and humans. Good, bad, boring, there are all kinds of humans. Same goes for corporations.

Final tip isn’t mine, but it’s good:

“If your trading partner throws rocks into his harbour, that is no reason to throw rocks into your own,” Economist Joan Robinson, FBA

Liam O’Brien

North York, Ont. (Formerly of Buchans)

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