That suggests an emerging playbook for the Trump administration’s trade agreements. As with the revised U.S.-South Korea deal announced last week, the achievement is declared to be historic while the changes made are cosmetic. That dynamic bodes rather well for the U.S.-Japan bilateral talks announced last week, not to mention the simmering trade war with China. For the globalists so often bashed in Trump-era rhetoric – and this columnist would count himself among them – that’s good news.
Consider the agreement on dairy. The milk variety that Canada has agreed to discontinue – known as Class 7 milk – has been in existence for barely 18 months, and its opponents include not just U.S. trade negotiators but also Saputo Inc., one of Canada’s largest processors.
More to the point, milk products comprise an almost infinitesimal share of the trade relationship between the two countries, accounting for about $364 million, or 0.06 percent, of each-way flows. Peat, pasta, polystyrene, paper and prefabricated buildings all account for a greater value of U.S. imports than Canada’s entire dairy industry, and it’s a similar picture in the opposite direction.