Maybe people made too much of President Trump’s insulting tweets about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Trump called Trudeau “weak” and “dishonest” after the G-7 summit this month, and it looked like we were entering a period of hostile relations with an old ally who is also our No. 1 trading partner.

But insults aside, Trump has done a huge favor for Canada, sending hundreds of millions of dollars worth of business their way by giving them no real competition in the race to supply lobsters to the massive Chinese seafood market.

Forget Trudeau – the people who deserve an apology from Trump live in Maine, not Canada.

What’s going on is a series of threats and counter-threats as the president moves this country into a trade war of choice with China. Trump announced $34 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods that he said are necessary to shrink a trade deficit with the world’s second biggest economy. China responded with its own list of tariffs, which it plans to impose as early as July 6, if the United States doesn’t back down. Among the products on their list are American lobsters, but Canadian lobsters would continue to flow freely to China.

Since Chinese procurement officials are very price conscious, Canada expects to get a bigger share of the business. Canadians were already ahead of U.S. suppliers in China, especially for frozen meat.

And the Canadians will enjoy the benefit of a bilateral trade agreement between Canada and the European Union. With fewer foreign markets for American lobsters, fishermen in Maine can expect to get a lower price at the wharf.

This is just the latest example of how Trump’s get-tough trade policy hurts more American workers than it helps. There are 10 times more American manufacturing workers who would be hurt by higher prices on foreign steel than actually work in American steel mills. And a 25 percent tariff on Canadian-made uncoated paper (newsprint) puts thousands of newspaper jobs in jeopardy in order to protect about 200 jobs at a single mill in Washington state.

It seems that the president has not yet figured out that what he said last year about health care – “Nobody knew (it) could be so complicated!” – is also true about trade.

Between Europe and China, Trump’s trade policy has shrunk the global market for an important Maine export.

If lobster prices drop as a result, “America first” will hurt Americans most.

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