Next in Tariffs: Oil Sands?

The head of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is worried Trump might decide to start hating oil sands.

Q: With the Canadian-U.S. trade relationship so unpredictable right now, could Donald Trump take aim at our energy sector?

A: Anything is a potential target. We are in completely uncharted waters at this point.

Q: How big a deal would that be?

A: It would be massive, in the same way as he is threatening to target the automotive sector in Ontario.

Is this a classic fox in a hen house situation or am I giving Trump too much credit for being disruptive? (Sorry, couldn't help it)

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Canadians hurting themselves better than Trump can dream of - their oil is sold at a deep discount and efforts to export outside of US are blocked by likes of 350.org and greenies (JPT included). In view of Venezuelan death spiral and growing need for mixing heavy crude tariffs are unlikely.

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The one sector that Mr. Trump is not going to hit is the importation of Canadian water. 

Right now the US West and Southwest is desperately short of water, the usual source of which is the snowcap in the Rockies and Sierra Madre mountains. Those snowfalls have been "short" for a number of years and the result is a drop in the water table as groundwater is pumped, and a drop in reservoir levels as a water deficit has erupted.  There have been intermittent ideas floated over a number of years of a gigantic water pipeline system to bring Northern water down into the Southwest and to the greater Los Angeles area; that system was called NAWAPA, for North American Water and Power Act. 

The States and Canada around the Great Lakes have felt so threatened by these ideas, and felt that the next step would be the taking of fresh water directly from the Lakes, that they created this Interstate and International Water Compact which effectively would prevent, by Treaty, the taking of water to feed to the SW.  Various cities can take some water for municipal purposes according to strict limits, but that's it.

Ironically, at one point the Lake shipping industry asked the US Army Corps of engineers to go dredge the St. Mary's River in the area of Sarnia, to get a deeper channel over a natural sill there, and when they did, the unexpected result was a much greater water flow out of Lake Huron and into Lake Erie, with a corresponding drop of several feet in the Upper Lakes. So the very thing they were worried about with NAWAPA happened anyway due to the dredging debacle, which effectively pulled the cork out of the neck of the bottle. 

Now along comes The Donald and his penchant for tearing up Treaties.  Does anyone here think the construction of a gigantic water pipeline from Canada (OK, from the US side of the Great Lakes, say around Duluth) is out of the question? Hey, that guy, he will just go take it. Treaties are not an obstacle to the New White House. Scoop five feet off Lake Superior and send it down into the Upper Colorado, entirely possible. 

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