The recent blockades of Canada-U.S. border crossings by radical libertarians, in support of fellow travellers who occupied Ottawa, are thought by many Canadian business leaders and economists to have caused permanent damage to our economy. A Canada heavily reliant on trade now suffers the reputation of being an unreliable supplier, they say.
That isn’t true.
There is no denying that the brief disruption in the daily $1.7-billion worth of trade by truck between Canada and the U.S. was alarming. And that it is cause for a rethink of how to better ensure uninterrupted safe passage of people and goods between our two countries.
But the core issue isn’t the rabble that appeared to be threatening the economic health of two G7 economies. The issue is U.S. trade protectionism, a problem for Canada that the border blockages are thought to have inflamed.
America’s isolationist sentiment was stoked by former U.S. president Donald Trump. And it has been sustained with the “Buy America” polices of his successor, Joe Biden.