With all of the attention that is being focused on the Trump’s involvement with Russia, it got me thinking. What is the deal with the properties that the Trump Company is involved with in Canada. This last week while Trump was holding court to discuss his victory relative to the new tax bill, he, out of the blue brought up the NAFTA trade deal and how he was going to renegotiate this very bad agreement.
Some simple research showed me that Trump’s branding and hotel management agreements with the Canadian developers and owners are not very popular with the Canadian government and their citizens, It seems that most Canadians have little or no appetite for his business practices, his treatment of Canada and his international ideologies in general. As a whole, they do not like the Trump brand being plastered on the front of a couple of the most impressive buildings in the Vancouver and Toronto skylines.
The first thing I thought of was the possibility that he is covertly imposing his power while he is the President. To me, it wouldn’t be a stretch that he could use his current platform to gain leverage. What a better way to try and put Canada under his thumb than threatening to renegotiate a trade deal that is very important to Canada, their people and businesses.
The Canadian government has said that they are willing to renegotiate the agreement, however, I think that what they are able to do is not what President Trump says he will accept. Wouldn’t it make sense for the American public to put up with some of the current Canadian trade components even though it would appear that the trade imbalance may not benefit this country in the short-term? Isn’t it true that they are a very important, cooperative and loyal ally?
All of this being said, as an American, make no mistake about it, I am personally one hundred percent behind our country’s need to promote American interests through fair trade no matter who we have a relationship with.
Back to Russian money in Canada.
Trump’s partner, Russian-Canadian developer Alexander Shnaider, helped finance the hotel after selling his company’s share in a Ukrainian steelmaker for $850 million. The unknown buyer, financed by VEB, was reportedly “an entity acting for the Russian government. This according to a report by the Wall Street Journal last May.
The fact is that the Trump organization did not have any involvement in the projects except for licensing the properties with the Trump brand. In addition to the branding agreements, Trump also operated and managed the hotel portion of the buildings.
There is a silver lining for Canada. The properties do employ a significant number of people. Funny thing is though that many of the workers are imported from Euerope just as they are for his U.S. properties. Of course, this practice doesn’t make the news cycle even given Trump’s position on immigration.
There are so many pieces to the workings of the deals, I can’t honestly believe that I can get all of the facts straight, so I won’t try.
The whole point of this article is to suggest that the Russians are involved. For a guy that claims that he doesn’t have any significant ties to Russia, he sure seems to have significant ties to Russia.
If you are interested, there are some great articles posted by reputable news organizations such as the Wall Street Journal, the BBC and even the Seattle Times that are worth reading.