Spacing Toronto’s John Lorinc writes about how the Canadian government will find its economic goals difficult to meet.
The surrealist performance art show that is the Trump transition process has provided the world with a torrent of distraction that would un-moor even those with unshakeable meditation skills. And I’m assuming the men and women working for Prime Minister Sunny Ways are no more immune than the rest of us.
But as the more and less visible elements of president-elect Donald Trump’s agenda begin to take shape, I’m wondering whether the federal Liberals are connecting the dots and figuring out where Canada’s negotiating strengths may lie. After all, we’re going to need all the torque we can find to withstand the direct and indirect impact of Trump’s (clears throat) policies.
Exhibit A: Infrastructure. Armed with their proposal for a federal infrastructure bank, Justin Trudeau and finance minister Bill Morneau traveled to New York last week to pitch pension funds and other institutional investors interested in co-investing in giant infrastructure deals (and, presumably, privatization opportunities).
Trump, as it happens, ran on a pledge to make a $1 trillion investment in crumbling infrastructure, and his plan, according to The Hill, also relies heavily on the use of private equity financing to prime the pump.
In other words, Ottawa faces the unhappy prospect of competing for these deals with a Trump administration that has not only a sense of mission, but, presumably, harbors a much more robust ideological belief in public-private partnerships. I think it’s entirely plausible that the deals flowing from whatever the Trump administration puts in place will not only be much larger than anything we can ante up (a frequent complaint from pension and other institutional investors), but also far more lucrative and expedited for the private partners.