Canadians Might Boycott US Casinos in #BuyCanadian Campaign

US Casinos Canada Trade War

11 million Canadians make 32 million visits to the United States each year, making Canada the #2 source of US tourists behind Mexico.

The Canadian campaign to boycott American businesses over U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariffs and rhetoric could extend to the U.S. casino industry. Canadian citizens, outraged at the US president’s words and actions, recently launched the #BuyCanadian Campaign to strike back economically.

Much of the talk has been to boycott American products or retail chains which operate in Canada. Many Canadians have said they would stop visiting the United States as a form of protests.

Given the fact that Forbes suggested a potential China-USA trade war might claim as victim Macau-based US casino companies like Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts, and Wynn Resorts, several gaming sites have reported that Canadians might be planning a boycott of US casinos.

No such organized boycott appears to be in the offing at the moment, but any tourism boycott could harm the US casino industry. Therefore, an examination of the possible implications is worth discussing.

Canadian Tourism Boycott?

Canadians represent the second-largest population of tourists to the United States each year, behind only Mexico. Over 11 million Canadians made over 32 million visits to the United States in 2016.

The US has many tourist destinations, but casinos and gaming venues are among the top tourist destinations for Canadians. The threatened boycott from the 2nd-leading tourist demographic would do the US casino industry no favors.

Trump vs. Trudeau: #BuyCanadian Campaign

Part of the outrage involves the growing possibility of a trade war between the United States and Canada. Part of the outrage involves Donald Trump’s calling the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “dishonest and weak”, after Trudeau called US tariffs on Canadian products “insulting and unacceptable”.

Later, a top US official (Peter Navarro) said there was “a special place in Hell” for Justin Trudeau, because of his dishonesty regarding Donald Trump. Though Peter Navarro later apologized for the comments, the damage was done in the minds of many Canadians.

In response to the #BuyCanadian Campaign, one Canadian citizen tweeted, “I really scrutinized my groceries yesterday and refused to buy anything at all from the US. I even had to buy iceberg lettuce! This is a great opportunity for Canadian grocery stores to seek out and stock more Made in Canada products. And Mexican.”

“We…Can’t Accept That behavior”

The responses were not simply from the everyday citizens of Canada, either. Darren Green, president of Hamilton, Ontario’s Hamilton Steelworkers Area Council, voiced his outrage at the US president’s imposition of tariffs on Canadian companies.

Darren Green said, “We’ve got no choice. We just can’t accept that behavior — the bullying — from somebody that is going to affect our country, our jobs, our families’ livelihoods on a whim.”

Canadian Tourism Boycott

The Canadian response is not confined to government tariffs or product boycotts. Media sources report that Canadians plan to call off trips to the United States, so long as the trade war and insults continue.

Canadian tourists make 32 million visits to the United States each year. Casino destinations in Las Vegas and elsewhere attract a large number of those tourists. If Canadians protest by refusing to vacation in the United States, it could hurt Las Vegas tourism.

Canada-US Softwood Lumber Dispute

The United States and Canada have more dustups over tariffs and trade than one might expect. The softwood lumber dispute actually flared up four times between 1982 and 2002, in what are called Lumber I, Lumber II, Lumber III, and Lumber IV.

Unsurprisingly, the Canada-US softwood lumber dispute is on the table again onm 2018, as the right-leaning Heritage Foundation lobbied the Trump Adminstration to put a tariff on Canadian softwood lumber.

The current threats and insinuations are harder to take, though. Canadians as a whole took a dislike to Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, it would seem. Only when Trump began to insult their country and its leaders did they begin to get offended.

In one phone exchange, Donald Trump reminded Justin Trudeau that the Canadians once burned the White House. (It was the British who in August 1814 burned the US capital, though a fair amount of Canadians might have been in the British army at the time.)

Canadians to Boycott US Products

Canadian threats to boycott US products appear to be real. Axios reported on the Canadian product boycott, stating, “While one Ottawa man proudly tweeted a photo (below) promoting his ‘Trump-free’ grocery cart, others are also ‘refusing to buy Kentucky bourbon, California wine and Florida oranges, and ignoring major U.S. brands such as Starbucks, Walmart, and McDonald’s,’ per CTV.”

Narcity gave a list of US retail chains that Donald Trump either partly owns or sells products through. The list of boycott targets included Whole Foods, Walmart, Amazon, Hudson’s Bay, and Saks Off Fifth. The Trump Hotel in Vancouver was an obvious inclusion.

Will Canadians Boycott Amazon?

The inclusion of on the list of boycott-worthy businesses shows the madness of a trade war. No American company has come under more criticism from President Donald Trump than Amazon. Owner Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post, which has been in an old-fashioned newspaper war with the New York Times to see which newspaper can find more dirt on the Trump Administration.

Because of the scrutiny from The Washington Post, Donald Trump has threatened to raise taxes on Republican state lawmakers have tried to raise taxes on Amazon, to protect local businesses from the interstate commerce giant. President Trump even called for the US Postal Service to raise its rates on Amazon deliveries, because Jeff Bezos’s company supposedly had cost the US Post Office countless millions of dollars.

Of course, Amazon sells Donald Trump products, which is why one Canadian wrote to the e-commerce site, “Dear @amazon, I have decided to boycott your business due to the fact that you sell Trump merchandise. I am Canadian and am appalled at @realDonaldTrump’s conduct towards my country over the past week. I will be boycotting other stores that sell Trump goods as well.”