CBC News reports that Canada's hope to be exempt from Trump's trade war on imported steel and aluminium has been shot down.
There's been speculation that the tariff regime could possibly finish off any future for NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Will Justin Trudeau rise to the challenge and defend Canada? He's generally risk/conflict averse.
To apply the tariffs, the U.S. is invoking a rarely used clause in a 1962 trade law that allows the president to declare tariffs if required by national security. The White House argues that the wording is broad, and that national security also could include employment and economic stability of the domestic steel industry.
Every host of the big weekly U.S. talk shows raised the Canada angle.
Fox News's Chris Wallace asked how the White House can possibly justify using a national security excuse for imposing tariffs on a close NATO partner, and legal member of the U.S. military-industrial complex.
CNN's Jake Tapper asked Navarro to imagine how Canada might see this: "From the perspective of Canada ... Canada would say, 'National security exemption? We fight with you in every war. Our soldiers are right next to your soldiers in every conflict. What possible scenario could you envision where we wouldn't supply you with steel and aluminum?"'
But the general response from Trump officials was that everyone should prepare for tariffs. When Navarro was asked on Fox whether Trump would exclude anyone, he responded in the negative.
"That's not his decision," Navarro replied.
"As soon as he starts exempting countries he has to raise tariffs on everybody else. As soon as he exempts one country his phone starts ringing from the heads of state of other countries."
He added more details in an interview with CNN: "Canada's 40 per cent of the (American aluminum) market. If you exempt Canada, then you have to put big, big tariffs on everybody else. So this is a measured, targeted approach."
It strikes me that, if Canada is to be branded a national security threat to the United States, it would be prudent for us to put all military cooperation with the Americans on hold. We're not only their dutiful foot soldiers, essentially America's Foreign Legion, but we're also their eyes and ears on their exposed northern flank. Just until we get everything sorted out, you understand.