British Columbia premier picked the wrong time to attack Trump on trade

Not being the brightest corrupt and man-hating light bulb in Canada's provincial leader sockets, British Columbia premier Christy Clark – who failed to graduate from any post-secondary institution she attended – "slams [Donald] Trump on trade, warns of 'poisoned' relations":

B.C. Premier Christy Clark is taking presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to task for his anti-trade stance – equating it with building a wall between the U.S. and Canada.

"It's not helpful when down in the States there are serious presidential candidates who are talking about building a wall between Canada and the United States. Trade barriers are just another kind of wall," Clark said in an interview with Chris Hall on CBC Radio's The House.

The technically unelected B.C. premier – who, through the prehistoric and anti-democratic nature of Canadian politics, actually lost her electoral race in the last election and had to be parachuted into the legislature through the back door – is one of the most unpopular provincial leaders in the country, with just a 31% approval rating, and her party sits at less than 35% in the polls.  She may be around for only a few months after a President Trump takes office, what with the B.C. election slated for early May.

Ms. Clark perhaps was feeling a bit cocky, because the U.S. was actually running a slight merchandise trade surplus with her province in recent years, and thus figured she could exert some pressure on Trump via the trade advantage America had in her jurisdiction.  Alas, the times, they are a-changing, and if trends continue, any bargaining power Ms. Clark had is about to evaporate as the U.S. slides back – once again – into its traditional trade deficit territory with British Columbia.

Perhaps Ms. Clark should have just kept her mouth shut?

Since 1988, the U.S. has run a $68-billion cumulative merchandise trade deficit against B.C., and that deficit is highly correlated with the U.S.-Canada currency exchange rate (negative values indicating U.S. trade deficit, positive values signifying trade surplus):

As the Canadian dollar progressively weakens, that trade surplus for the USA is likely to evaporate and return to the historical norm of a large trade deficit – removing any bargaining power Ms. Clark has against Mr. Trump on trade issues.  Indeed, 2016 is shaping up for near trade parity between the U.S. and B.C., or potentially even a modest U.S. trade deficit.

Hopefully, Mr. Trump is taking notes and keeping score on these comments, as payback is a...well, you know.  And that payback for the B.C. premier may be on its way if Canada's currency continues to slide against the greenback.

Of course, if things don't work out, Ms. Clark could always go naked kitesurfing with Richard Branson.