Canadians Really, Really, Really Don’t Like Donald Trump

Not surprisingly, Canadians aren't too thrilled with Donald Trump these days.

The Toronto Star reports that Canadian disdain for Donald Trump is at near-universal levels:

Four out of five Canadians disapprove of U.S. President Donald Trump in the wake of an escalating trade war with Canada, a new poll has found.

The Campaign Research survey also found 72 per cent believe Trump’s protectionist policies have “harmed” the Canadian economy, while only three per cent said they have “helped.”

Seventeen per cent said they have neither harmed nor helped, and eight per cent didn’t know.

“The prime minister is definitely on the right side of public opinion on this issue, that’s for sure,” Campaign Research CEO Eli Yufest said of Justin Trudeau.


Some 81 per cent said they “disapproved” of the job Trump is doing, while 11 per cent approved and eight per cent didn’t know

This poll is largely consistent with previous reporting showing that the Canadian reception to recent developments in their country’s relationship with the United States was incredibly negative and that it is the behavior and comments of this President that are primarily responsible for that. Historically speaking, of course, the United States has enjoyed a good relationship with its neighbor to the North and the Canadian people have had a positive view of Americans and the United States. There have, of course, when that relationship has been strained such as during the Vietnam War era when Canada was seen by many Americans as a refuge from the draft and American action in the war itself became a subject of international controversy. Generally speaking, though, Americans and the American President have always been well-received in Canada. That is, of course, until Donald Trump came along and has engaged in actions and rhetoric toward Canada and its Prime Minister, unlike anything we’ve seen from an American President before.

These attacks on our closest ally have been coming for awhile, and can but traced back to the campaign when Trump talked openly about renegotiating or even pulling out of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement because of alleged “unfair” treatment. More recently, at the end of the last month, Trump revoked the exemption from the steel and aluminum tariffs that he had announced in March, an exemption that kept the tariffs from being applied against American allies in Europe as well as Canada and Mexico. When he did so, the President claimed that he was imposing the tariffs for reasons of “national security.” This justification was laughably absurd, of course, because it is inconceivable that allies in nations like Canada, a fellow NATO ally and co-partner in the North American Aerospace Defense Command, were somehow threats to American national security. Needless to say, these actions were not well received by our allies. Canada’s Foreign Minister called the new tariffs “absurd,” for example, and European Union officials announced retaliatory tariffs against American goods. With respect to Canada specifically, the situation became even more absurd when Trump exchanged harsh words with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prior to the G-7 Summit. Once he was at the summit, Trump essentially did everything he could to alienate America’s closest allies, thereby seemingly achieving a goal that Russia and, before it, the Soviet Union had only dreamed of, driving a wedge between the United States and its allies. After the Singapore Photo Op Summit, Trump continued his tirade against Trudeau, while polling revealed that Canadian public opinion about the United States was suffering as a result of American actions and the President’s rhetoric. Finally and most recently, Trump went off on a bizarre tirade last week in which he falsely claimed that Canadians were traveling across the border to smuggle American shoes. Given all of this, it’s not surprising that the Canadian public’s view of the President would be overwhelmingly negative.

The new poll does not ask broader questions that might provide a clue about the impact of Canadian public opinion about Trump on public opinion of the United States as a whole. One has to assume, though, that the overwhelmingly negative opinion that the Canadian public appears to have about the President is impacting how they feel about the United States as a whole. Given our long history together, that would be unfortunate albeit understandable. The best I can offer to our neighbors to the north is that we’re going through a crazy period here in the United States. Stick with us and we’ll get past it soon enough, As I said on the day that Donald Trump was inaugurated, America will survive.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, International Trade, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    And now there are reports that Harley Davidson in moving production to the EU to avoid tariffs on their products sold there.
    This Dennison guy is brilliant, I’m telling you…

  2. EddieInCA says:

    Watch the Markets today. Nasdaq us already down 1.5% Dow is down 1%.

    I think anyone who has money in the market right now in risking alot. We could see a very, very big correction soon. People are assuming that Trump will eventually come around to the status quo, but he’s not “normal”. He will double and triple down, and as the Market tanks, he’s going to just claim that things are great. And eventually he’ll start talking about the “phony numbers coming out of the stock market by the Fake News Media’.

    Wait. It’s coming.

  3. PJ says:

    America might still survive but it’s reputation is quite dead. Let’s say a Democrat defeats Trump in 2020, would any leaders in the rest of the world take a bet that the Republican candidate in 2024 will not be a tRumpublican? In 2028? In 2032? Will a tRumpublican win in 2028? 2032?

    The EU, Canada, and so on all know that they cannot trust that a deal made in 2025 will still be honored four years later.

  4. Grumpy realist says:

    There’s one big shock coming down the pipeline-either when Brexit happens or some time before it, when it becomes obvious that the U.K. government has made no preparations for it.

    They really are a pack of dummies who haven’t realized that the separation from the EU cannot be accomplished by bluffing.

  5. PJ says:

    @Grumpy realist:
    When they voted for Brexit, there were still a sane President in the White House, they thought they would get a good trade deal with the US. Sanity has since been replaced with insanity… Good luck to the UK trying to get a good trade deal from Trump…

    Only question is how long until the UK, or what’s left of it, can rejoin the EU again, and under what terms, it will no longer get the special deals that Thatcher was able to secure.

  6. An Interested Party says:

    America might still survive but it’s reputation is quite dead. Let’s say a Democrat defeats Trump in 2020, would any leaders in the rest of the world take a bet that the Republican candidate in 2024 will not be a tRumpublican? In 2028? In 2032? Will a tRumpublican win in 2028? 2032?

    If a charismatic Dem wins in 2020, no doubt it will be a replay of 2008, with that president assuring our allies that what came before was an aberration…the Orange Toddler is the first of his kind in the White House, perhaps people will be prepared for the next time another idiot comes down the pike…

  7. MBunge says:

    Okay, you’re just trolling me now. Unable to post about Trump’s U.S. approval numbers going down, you’ve switched to Canada?

    We’ve officially reached the point of self-parody. All that remains is whether it is unintentional.


  8. grumpy realist says:

    @MBunge: No, dearie, we’re just looking at the long-term damage Trump has done to U.S. foreign relations. Try to keep up!

    (Who in the hell picks a fight with CANADA?!! Only a totally brain-dead idiot intent on trashing US relations throughout the world…..)

  9. KM says:


    When they voted for Brexit, there were still a sane President in the White House

    And therein lies the underlying problem mentality common to Trumpkins, Brexiters, climate change deniers, anti-vaxxers, Big Pharma drugs you instead of healing, et al. Deep down, they believe there’s a safety net to catch them if they are wrong and so feel comfortable doing the batshit things they do. They’re the people that delay medical treatment till it’s too late and can’t believe science can’t save them. Something will come along to rescue them if they screw up, the reset button will work to reverse any damage incurred, things will go back to the status quo if needed. Children trusting Mommy and Daddy can and will bail them out if necessary. Subconsciously believing there’s a solid Plan B if they set the planet on fire. Worse comes to worse, the faithful believe Jesus shows up and it’s all good, right?

    It’s horrifying how many people are willing to ruin everything because they expect someone else to preform miracles on command.

  10. HarvardLaw92 says:


    To be frank, this clown has created a shorter’s paradise. In a more rational world, I’d be reticent about borrowing blocks of stocks and dumping them, but in this world I can absolutely count on the idiot in the Oval Office to commit another in a string of own-goals destined to drive prices down further.

    If you have the means to do so, I’d suggest ramping up a short strategy ASAP. It’ll position you to come out of the inevitable correction cash heavy and ready to clean house.

  11. grumpy realist says:
  12. Kathy says:

    About Brexit, all future British PMs for the next ten generations, ought to have the word “NONBINDING” tattooed on the back of their hands.

  13. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Who in the hell picks a fight with CANADA?!!

    Picks a fight with Canada, and cozies up to Russia…who is attacking us, as we type.

  14. Kathy says:


    America might still survive but it’s reputation is quite dead.

    Bush the younger did a lot to damage America’s reputation in 2003 with the ill-considered invasion of Iraq. I bet America’s allies thought that would be as bad as things would get. Obama spent a fair part of his terms repairing that damage, and he managed reasonably well.

    The next president won’t have it so easy. Bush the younger, after all, didn’t go out of his way to insult, demean, belittle and put down his country’s allies.

  15. Kathy says:

    @grumpy realist:

    (Who in the hell picks a fight with CANADA?!! Only a totally brain-dead idiot intent on trashing US relations throughout the world…..)

    I’ve said before Trump is like a feral dog: either at your throat or at your feet. He either attacks you, or kisses your ass.

    Look up what Reagan, the Bushes, Clinton, and Obama said of allies and enemies. They managed to praise or condemn without being obsequious or offensive.

    But then, for the most part they were governing rather than playing to their base.

  16. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:

    And…H-D will lose between 45-90 million dollars this year and 100 million per year next year, and in subsequent years.


  17. CSK says:

    Again, please take me out of moderation.

  18. grumpy realist says:

    @KM: I think in the British case, the people running the show (and yes, I do include Mr. Corbyn) fail to understand how the huge complexity of EU regulations that has grown up around all UK-EU interactions (while the rest of the world has more or less sorted itself out into trade groups) makes this far more of an engineering project rather than a negotiating deal.

    The UK still thinks it’s a case of Britannia Rules the Waves and that they can bluff their way through any difficulty. (Very much like a certain Orange Man of our acquaintance.) They also think that the EU is bluffing in turn–which it isn’t. If push comes to shove, the EU will decide to prepare for a no-deal Brexit and start putting all the safety nets in place, while extending a hand to all the large multinational corporations located in the U.K. who are pressing the siren and getting ready to jump. After that point, I suspect that Britain will have had it. Even if they want to do a U-turn, the other side (having made their preparations for disaster) aren’t going to be very willing to allow the chaotic whiny brat back on board.

    And the U.K., contrary to all it’s protestations, hasn’t done 1% of the work really necessary to handle a “hard” Brexit. Maybe they’ll start realizing exactly how badly they’ve screwed the pooch when there’s no food in the stores and half of their power supplies go poof.

  19. Mike LaBrier says:

    They hate Donald Trump and put Justin Trudeau into power. I think that says a lot about the Canadians. Their hatred is actually a compliment to our president.

  20. Mikey says:

    @MBunge: Man, you’re lucky irony isn’t physically harmful. You’d have died 100 times by now.

  21. @Mike LaBrier:

    I don’t know about anyone else in this comment thread, but I’d take Trudeau over Trump any day even though there are likely many policy areas I disagree with the Canadian Prime Minister about. (Although I do like his position on marijuana legalization and it’s clear that he has a much more rational view of international relations than our current President.)

  22. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:


    Unable to post about Trump’s U.S. approval numbers going down, you’ve switched to Canada?

    Gallup has Dennison’s approval down 4 points today.
    So once again you choose to make a fallacious comment, and then run away.

  23. grumpy realist says:

    Oh, it looks like China and the EU have decided to continue pushing for multilateral trade blocks.

    Basically, the US has stepped away from the plate and China is stepping up. We really are a nation of idiots.

  24. Gustopher says:

    Stick with us and we’ll get past it soon enough, As I said on the day that Donald Trump was inaugurated, America will survive.

    I’m not so sure America will survive.

    From the Hastert Rule on, Republicans have very deliberately not been attempting to lead America, they’ve been attempting to lead their base and drag the rest of America along kicking and screaming. They talk about “Real America” as if those who don’t support them aren’t Americans. They put party over country.

    This culminates in Donald Trump — he’s not just a corrupt white nationalist, he’s also a radically destabilizing force disrupting the norms of our government, economy and world relations. Assuming we don’t end up vaporized, I don’t know where things are going to end up.

  25. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Have you noticed that they have – for a while now – been quietly expanding the list of countries allowed to directly settle foreign trade in CNY without intervening dollar conversion?

    China’s long term aim here (PVP exclusion of the dollar) couldn’t be any clearer – and nimrod is playing right into it.

  26. teve tory says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Justin Trudeau drunk and on Ambien would make better decisions than The Worst Negotiator in History™

  27. grumpy realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Haven’t noticed that, but it’s a good strategy.

    The point at which everything will rapidly go downhill is when China happens to be the place young entrepreneurs go, world-wide. It’s going to be a little more difficult than when the U.S. took over from the U.K. because of the language barrier, but it’s quite likely that English will remain as the lingua franca for internationalists, just as Latin was used in Europe up until the 17th century.

    If the EU manages to get their act together it’s quite possible that they can grab the crown away from China for a while.

    Trump doesn’t realize the mess he’s making of the US; nor does he care.

  28. grumpy realist says:

    P.S. One reason why I’m placing my bets on China as opposed to Russia is because Russia has slid back down the economic track. The only thing it does–aside from cybertrolling and other such internet-related games–is dig out mineral and oil/gas from Siberia and sell it. Russia used to have a good science and technology base, which has almost totally vanished as people have emigrated abroad looking for opportunities. As one of my friends said: “All the biorhodopsin Russian scientists have ended up working in my laboratory in Italy!”

    China has gone the other way–it is now making fat offers to the Chinese expats who went abroad for education and bringing them home again, complete with outfitted laboratories and good positions. Get enough of them together with enough equipment, and suddenly you have China’s answer to Silicon Valley.

  29. teve tory says:

    trump is runnin Skeered:

    Donald J. Trump

    Verified account

    Follow Follow @realDonaldTrump

    Why is Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), perhaps in a near drunken state, claiming he has information that only he and Bob Mueller, the leader of the 13 Angry Democrats on a Witch Hunt, knows? Isn’t this highly illegal. Is it being investigated?

    4:22 PM – 25 Jun 2018

    That is an actual, factual tweet.

  30. teve tory says:

    As one of my friends said: “All the biorhodopsin Russian scientists have ended up working in my laboratory in Italy!”

    A guy I knew who ran a medium-sized software company in Raleigh told me 15 years ago, “The fall of the Soviet Union was Great. At one point I could have bought the 10 best computer scientists in the country for 250k!”

  31. george says:

    It’ll bounce back after Trump is gone. The Vietnam War and Iraq War were also very bad for foreign opinion of America, but those opinions recovered.

    Most people don’t equate a country with its leader.