Because of Donald Trump, Canadians Boycotting U.S. Products and Canceling Vacations to America

After President Donald Trump derailed the U.S. relationship with longtime ally Canada, launching a trade war and exchanging barbs with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canadians decided to boycott Trump in solidarity with their leader. 

Trump blamed Trudeau for his decision not to sign a joint communiqué with other members of the G-7 during the close of their meeting last week. Canada’s leader had announced his intention to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports because Trump establshed tariffs of 25 and 10 percent on aluminum and steel from Canada and other countries. The announcement angered Trump and led to the breakdown of his participation in the G-7 summit in Quebec.

Trump called Trudeau “dishonest and weak,” and White House aide Peter Navarro said there was a “special place in hell” for leaders like Trudeau who engage in “bad faith diplomacy” with Trump.

Now, Canadians have responded by boycotting U.S. products and canceling their planned trips to the U.S. Kentucky Bourbon, California wine, and Florida oranges are all among the products some Canadians now say they won’t purchase. Meanwhile, Canadian Twitter has been flooded with hashtags urging shoppers to #BuyCanadian, #BoycottUSProducts and #BoycottUSA. One man even tweeted a photo of his “Trump free” grocery cart filled with Canadian products. U.S. companies like Walmart and McDonalds are also included in the list of companies to be shunned.

For confused shoppers, at least one Canadian website details whether a product was produced in the U.S. or not.

Canada is Washington’s second largest trading partner after China, accounting for an estimated $673.9 billion in trade and services last year. U.S. exports of goods and services to Canada supported an estimated 1.6 million jobs in 2015, according to the Department of Commerce.

Trump’s decision to enter into conflict with one of the U.S.’s most steadfast allies was viewed with concern and occasionally mockery by analysts and experts.

“O Canada: You had it coming, eh. They inflicted Nickelback on us. We did nothing. They sent us Justin Bieber. We turned the other cheek. They were responsible for one abomination after the other: Poutine. Diphthong vowels. Hawaiian pizza. Instant mashed potatoes. Ted Cruz. Still, we did not retaliate—until now,” Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank joked in a recent op-ed.

“Given Canadians’ well-known instability—their currency is called the ‘loonie’—there can be only one solution: We are going to build a wall from Maine to Alaska—and Ottawa is going to pay.”  

Some pundits, however, took a more somber tone, suggesting that Trump is in fact determined to upend all international trade norms. Canadian media, meanwhile, reported that U.S. and Canada's relationship is now at an all-time low, especially since Trump suggested that Canada constitutes a national security threat for the U.S. 

Other experts consulted by Toronto-based TV channel CTV indicated that Canadians "need to continue the conversation with American business partners, friends and family," while reminding U.S. voters that "their president has angered an ally." 

Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney began negotiations with then-President Ronald Reagan to create the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, which was signed in 1988 and went into effect the following year. At Canada's behest, this treaty was transformed into a trilateral agreement, and it was later renamed the North American Free Trade Agreement—which includes Mexico—in the early 1990s. NAFTA entered into force in 1994 after then-President Bill Clinton signed it into law in December 1993. 

Today, the deal seeks to protect intellectual property and establish labor and environmental standards. Furthermore, NAFTA has spurred "unprecedented integration between Canada and the United States’ developed economies and Mexico, a developing country," according to a report by the Council on Foreign Relations. 

This article has been updated with new information. 

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