For shits and giggles, let’s say that I, hypothetically of course, lived on a farm, a peach farm to be exact. I’ve picked all of my peaches and counted out the ones that I would need for canning. After I’ve done my counting I have two bushels of peaches left that I do not need. Therefore, I need to complete a trade. My two bushels of peaches for something of equal value. Now, my neighbour down the road grows pluots, a hybrid fruit that is derived from a plum and an apricot. In our world pluots and peaches are worth the same. She says, “Leanne, I’ll give you two bushels of pluots for your two bushels of peaches.” It is a simple trade, but most importantly it is a fair and mutually beneficial trade, which is essential. Our society relies on mutually beneficial trade. From an exchange between neighbours, corporations, and countries every economic act is an act in trade. Every time we buy something or sell something we are participating in a trade. As Canadians, we are reminded over and over that we are a “trading nation” and that “trade” is essential to our success. Last year, our Canadian Prime Minister was in China scrounging up an agreement to just start the talks on a free trade agreement between China and Canada. Before that, he was in Vietnam restarting the Trans Pacific Partnership. In 2017 alone, trade and investment agreements have been concluded between Canada and the European Union, Guinea, Mongolia, and Ukraine. To put it plainly, Canada is going trade gangbusters and has been for awhile and there is probably one big fat reason why--the United States. Canada is and has always been overly dependent on our neighbours to the south as they count for about 77% of our trade. With Trump in the White House and the renegotiation of NAFTA not going so well, to say the least, Canada is best to diversify and diversity fast. Now, this mutually beneficial part can get pretty sticky. It’s not just making sure that all countries benefit from a trade deal, but making sure that enough people within those countries benefit to make the deal a good one. It’s the danger of creating trade agreements around the needs of multinational corporations and not around the needs and desires of people. For, if the people don’t benefit then what is the result? Trump? Maybe. Protectionism? Perhaps. War? It’s possible. It’s definitely happened before. Which brings us to this week’s episode: China, Britain, & the Poppy.