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EDITORIAL: Storm watch

Cleveland is the site of the Republican National Convention
Cleveland is the site of the Republican National Convention

These are tough tea leaves to read — there are just so many things that could happen in this week of wildcards. But can we afford to ignore it?

Not for a moment.

First, the underlying reasons.

Despite all sorts of trade deals and market exploration, our big neighbour to the south is still a major trading partner. We’ve diversified and set up free trade agreements with nations from Peru to Chile to Korea, and are on the verge of two major agreements, one with the European Union and the other with the transpacific nations.

And we trade. As a region, the Atlantic provinces have been trading goods for as long as we’ve existed.

The U.S. was and is a huge player in that — which is why the city of Cleveland is so important right now. Cleveland is the site of the Republican National Convention, and this week the Republicans will officially pick their candidate — almost certainly Donald Trump, a campaigner who has apparently never seen a trade deal that he wasn’t willing to class as an attack on jobs in America.

The North American Free Trade deal? He’s called it “a disaster,” saying, “I’m going to tell our NAFTA partners that I intend to immediately renegotiate the terms of that agreement to get a better deal for our workers,” The Hill quoted him as saying.

Trump added that, without “a lot better” terms for the U.S., he would withdraw from NAFTA. (As with many Trump threats/promises, it’s not clear he could actually do it.)

The Trans-Pacific partnership? Trump called it “a rape of our country.” Not an endorsement, to be sure.

So, you can see why it’s important to watch what comes out of Cleveland this week.

The problem is, talking about what could come out of the convention is almost impossible, because anything could happen.

The term “perfect storm” is grossly overused, but in this case, it’s apt.

Cleveland is not only a focal point for a candidate who has roped in support from the KKK and white power groups, it’s also ground zero for those who like Trump for his support of Americans’ right to bear arms — in a city that allows the open carrying of licenced firearms (although not at the convention).

Cleveland’s also going to be a nexus of anti-Trump protest.

And just to ice the risk cake, the weather in Cleveland is going to crest into the mid-30s as the convention progresses.

In other words, hot tempers, hot temperatures and weapons. It’s a volatile mix — and, much like the Trump campaign, a slow-motion train wreck that you can’t help but watch.

There are clear concerns for Canada as a whole and the Atlantic region, in particular, in Cleveland this week.

But you’d need a crystal ball to figure out how this one’s going to unfold.

Not for a moment.

First, the underlying reasons.

Despite all sorts of trade deals and market exploration, our big neighbour to the south is still a major trading partner. We’ve diversified and set up free trade agreements with nations from Peru to Chile to Korea, and are on the verge of two major agreements, one with the European Union and the other with the transpacific nations.

And we trade. As a region, the Atlantic provinces have been trading goods for as long as we’ve existed.

The U.S. was and is a huge player in that — which is why the city of Cleveland is so important right now. Cleveland is the site of the Republican National Convention, and this week the Republicans will officially pick their candidate — almost certainly Donald Trump, a campaigner who has apparently never seen a trade deal that he wasn’t willing to class as an attack on jobs in America.

The North American Free Trade deal? He’s called it “a disaster,” saying, “I’m going to tell our NAFTA partners that I intend to immediately renegotiate the terms of that agreement to get a better deal for our workers,” The Hill quoted him as saying.

Trump added that, without “a lot better” terms for the U.S., he would withdraw from NAFTA. (As with many Trump threats/promises, it’s not clear he could actually do it.)

The Trans-Pacific partnership? Trump called it “a rape of our country.” Not an endorsement, to be sure.

So, you can see why it’s important to watch what comes out of Cleveland this week.

The problem is, talking about what could come out of the convention is almost impossible, because anything could happen.

The term “perfect storm” is grossly overused, but in this case, it’s apt.

Cleveland is not only a focal point for a candidate who has roped in support from the KKK and white power groups, it’s also ground zero for those who like Trump for his support of Americans’ right to bear arms — in a city that allows the open carrying of licenced firearms (although not at the convention).

Cleveland’s also going to be a nexus of anti-Trump protest.

And just to ice the risk cake, the weather in Cleveland is going to crest into the mid-30s as the convention progresses.

In other words, hot tempers, hot temperatures and weapons. It’s a volatile mix — and, much like the Trump campaign, a slow-motion train wreck that you can’t help but watch.

There are clear concerns for Canada as a whole and the Atlantic region, in particular, in Cleveland this week.

But you’d need a crystal ball to figure out how this one’s going to unfold.

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