Five things you should know before starting your work day on Dec. 5

"Tariff Man" has warned China it had best follow through on their deal, or else.Nicholas Kamm/AFP

Good morning, everyone! Four politically based stories today, and a rebuttal to a cannabis short seller. First, the meltdown on the markets yesterday, particularly in the U.S., spurred on by the Tariff Man himself. Speaking of whom, will he let Trudeau’s USMCA stunt pass? And then, where’s the infrastructure from Trudeau’s Infrastructure Bank? Well, we know what he’s done with the pipelines — and a critic-slash-former-PM sends a jab his way. And speaking of jabs, Aphria is hitting back at the short seller that caused the stock to fall 30%.


North American markets lost an entire week’s worth of gains yesterday after Trump warned China to follow through on their trade deal, because he’s “Tariff Man.” Within hours of the tweets being posted, investor enthusiasm about an end to the trade war had vanished and stocks began to plummet. The Dow closed at an 800-point loss. And Trump was being criticized for not dishing the details of the agreement — if there was one.


George H.W. Bush might have forgiven Trudeau’s NAFTA sulk. But Trump won’t. Justin refused to show off his signed USMCA document, William Watson writes, while Trump and Peña Nieto did. We’ll see what Trump will retaliate with, but if the elder Bush were to have tweeted on it, Watson says, he might have said “Election coming in Canada. Gotta do what you gotta do.”


A private equity investor affiliated with cannabis company Aphria is vehemently refuting allegations by short sellers that he orchestrated a scheme to benefit himself and insiders through that company’s purchase of a number of Latin American assets. Vanmala Subramaniam reports that Aphria called the allegations “false and defamatory” and said it would take all legal avenues against the short seller.


What has Trudeau’s $35M Infrastructure Bank achieved? Set up to use federal money to “attract private sector and institutional investment to new revenue-generating infrastructure projects that are in the public interest,” so far all we’ve seen is a recycled loan and $11M worth of expenses. These cover salaries, legal services, travel, and expenses for its board of directors. Its first project is a re-announcement of funding already committed, MP Matt Jeneroux notes.


Brian Mulroney yesterday chided Ottawa on the handling of the pipeline crisis. The former PM suggested he would have made the some special interest groups stakeholders and gone ahead with the construction of pipelines east, west and south, Naomi Powell writes. “I’d take my lumps with the electorate.”