Donald Trump is not a man who is known to mince his words. When he says things, they are not just straight-forward. They are bombastic and most often outlandish.
This is not the case when it comes to his opinion on Canada.
After being asked by CBC's Meagan Fitzpatrick, the reality TV star turned-U.S. Republican presidential candidate recently answered "I love Canada..." and unlike his plans for Mexico, he said "I would not build a wall on the Canadian border."
Trump, a profound nationalist, is often described as an isolationist with regards to his foreign policies, namely his strong opposition to NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). This in particular would greatly affect Canada in terms of trade policy, jobs, unions, a large part of the Canadian economy, even the exchange rate if he were to actually win in the general election this November.
Let's face it, everything Canada stands for, especially under a Liberal government, is exactly what Mr. Trump speaks out against.
Trump has repeatedly stated he believes NAFTA to be a "disaster" and said he would renegotiate it if he does get elected. He has also said he would enact tariffs specifically against companies such as Ford. "Let's say Ford moves to Mexico. If they want to sell that car in the United States, they pay a tax." When Scott Pelley pointed out to Trump that "there's the North American Free Trade Agreement" in his interview on 60 Minutes last September, Trump promptly affirmed his stance when he said "...and there shouldn't be!.."
Donald Trump states he wouldn't deal with it but would either renegotiate it or he would break it. He clearly states that NAFTA is not fair and has been quoted saying every agreement has a default clause. The GOP presidential candidate believes the United States is being defrauded by many countries, further stating free trade is not fair trade and trade must be fair.
Let's face it, everything Canada stands for, especially under a Liberal government, is exactly what Mr. Trump speaks out against. The new Canadian government speaks loudly of diversity and admitting refugees in from countries like Syria. Trump never speaks well of immigrants and has even described them as rapists and drug dealers, not acknowledging they contribute to society.
The outspoken real estate mogul has repeatedly responded to questions regarding foreign policy and about the United States' place on the world stage in general with vague rhetoric that has had him repeat "...putting America first again" in almost every answer he gives. His answers have also included punishing other countries where he feels American interests have been compromised. While Mexico and China have been in his crosshairs, he has mentioned numerous other countries where he believes the United States has not gotten the fair end of the deal and that even includes countries like Canada, involved in free trade through NAFTA.
Let's be clear. Trump speaks from a chest-pumping pro-U.S. and isolationist point of view, much more radical than any past Republican Canadians have been used to hearing. He is imposing and that is exactly the opposite reputation of his neighbours to the north.
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Launching his Presidential bid last June, Donald Trump held up his financial statement to prove he had assets worth a total of $9 billion. In a tasteless boast, Trump went on to reveal he refused a bank's loan of $4bn. He said: “I don’t need it. I don’t want it. And I’ve been there.” While millions of Americans continue to suffer the effects of sluggish economic growth, Trump is blissfully unaffected. Well, that's how he makes it sound.
Trump says he's never had to withdraw cash from a cashpoint. During an appearance on 'Late Night with Conan O'Brien', Trump said that he'd never seen the need to use ATMs, all the while hinting at his extraordinary wealth.
Like many of his voters, money is always on Trump's mind. But unlike those struggling to make ends meet, Trump is more concerned with the perception of his wealth, which he says is "more than $9 bn". When an author suggested Trump had a net worth of less than $300m, the property tycoon sued him for libel. Yet during testimony, Trump admitted his own estimations depend on his "feelings". It was reported Trump said: "Yes, even my own feelings (guide estimates of my wealth), as to where the world is, where the world is going, and that can change rapidly from day to day." Trump lost the libel case.
Despite pretending to offer something different from the tired-old ways of Washington, Trump has admitted that he's more than willing to use dubious non-facts and statistics in an effort to further his White House ambitions. In a remarkable exchange with FOX News host Bill O'Reilly, the famously impertinent presenter took exception to flawed statistics banded about by Trump. O’Reilly: This bothered me, I gotta tell ya. You tweeted out that whites killed by blacks — these are statistics you picked out from somewhere — at a rate of 81 percent. And that’s totally wrong. Whites killed by blacks is 15 percent, yet you tweeted it was 81 percent. Now … Trump: Bill, I didn’t tweet, I retweeted somebody that was supposedly an expert, and it was also a radio show. O’Reilly: Yeah, but you don’t wanna be. … Why do you want to be in that zone? Trump: Hey, Bill, Bill, am I gonna check every statistic? I get millions and millions of people, @RealDonaldTrump, by the way. O’Reilly: You gotta, you’re a presidential contender, you gotta check ’em.
Trump once told a reporter: "I'm running for office in a country that's essentially bankrupt, and it needs a successful businessman." Yet it's not always been plain sailing for all of Trump's businesses. In the 1980s, Trump entered into the highly competitive casino market in Atlantic City, taking out huge loans on his investments and risking everything when the deals went into bankruptcy. More recently, Trump has seen his name attached to failing properties, including hotels and casinos. Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City both closed in 2014, while Trump Soho in Manhattan ran into foreclosure. Speaking to the Washington Post, Trump said of the deals: “I didn’t want to have any personal liability, so I used junk bonds. I accept the blame for that, but I would do it again,” he said. But Trump vehemently denied that the deal represented a personal failing or affected his personal wealth. He continued: “This was not personal. This was a corporate deal. If you write this one, I’m suing you.”
He's so obsessed with his image that when a "cybersquatter" took control of hundreds of online domain names, including those using the name "Trump", Donald went on the defensive. J. Taikwok Yung, a self-described "domainer" from Brooklyn, NY, was hauled before judges after Trump noticed he'd bought up a huge amount of his brand online. Trump sought the maximum damages allowed - $100,000 for each of the four Trump-related domain names bought by Yung. And he had legal grounds: Trump is a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Organisation and is adorned on many a high-stakes casino, and several hotels.
Evidence of more concerning delusion came last month, when Trump played the theme to Harrison Ford's 'Air Force One' to signal his private jet's arrival in Iowa. Trump even ordered his private Boeing 757 jet to "buzz" the control tower of a local airport, swooping low and thrilling supporters below. Trump even ensured the score to the 1997 film was playing as the jet landed and taxied into position. If that weren't enough, Trump shamelessly stood in perfect place to ensure the jet's huge "TRUMP" logo was captured by TV cameras.
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