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Monday, July 16, 2018

NAFTA

I read in The Globe And Mail that an info-graphic was shared around the internet indicating that the tariff relationships between Canada and the USA are unfair against the USA. However, all the data in the chart was egregiously false. My biggest concern here is how easily masses of people can be swayed by blatant misinformation, and even worse, that when The Globe And Mail notified people (the original twitter poster, and the head of a student group who re-posted) who had posted the chart and received tens of thousands of views/likes/etc about the error that these people didn't take down or correct the false data.

This lead me to a discussion with a Canadian, Trump supporting colleague that raised the following questions:

- Is a trade deficit bad?
- Is there a trade deficit between the USA and Canada?
- Relative to other countries, and considering amount of trade, is the Canada/USA border very open to trade?
- Is the trade between the USA and Canada balanced/fair, or does one party get a much better deal? If so, why is that?
- Has Trump actually said things about Canada that are bad/unjust/untrue?

I plan to look into these subjects over the next little while.

Is a trade deficit bad?

According to Investopedia, it is not at all clear that a trade deficit is bad. The article seems thorough and unbiased to me. A search of Wikipedia doesn't immediately reveal any vested interest in Investopedia in favour of trade deficits. In fact the whole first page of google results for "is a trade deficit a bad thing" are explanations from a wide variety of sources on why a trade deficit isn't necessarily bad.

Is there a trade deficit between the USA and Canada?