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Trump Says He Loves Canada, But Does He Really?

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Kamil Krzaczynski / Reuters

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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