Cross Country Checkup·CALLER POV

Buy Canadian boycott doesn't 'punish' Trump — it hurts average Americans: Checkup caller

Mary Pitts, a caller from London, Ont., told Cross Country Checkup that boycotting American goods because of U.S.-imposed tariffs will only make things worse for those who are in the "same boat we are."

Mary Pitts in London, Ont., was checking labels at the store, but now she's changed her mind

Mary Pitts changed her mind about boycotting American products after Sunday's Cross Country Checkup cross-border special. (John Einarson/CBC, Submitted by Mary Pitts)
Listen2:15

Mary Pitts planned to boycott American products.

The London, Ont., resident told Cross Country Checkup that heated trade relations between Canada and the U.S. made her more aware of what she chose to buy at the grocery store.

But she felt uneasy about boycotting American goods completely.

Her discomfort was cemented, she said, after tuning into Checkup's cross-border special in Madison, Wis. The program heard calls from farmers, small business owners and workers across Canada and the U.S.

That had her re-thinking the "buy Canadian" boycott.

Here's part of Pitts's conversation with Checkup host Duncan McCue and guest co-host Rob Ferrett from Wisconsin Public Radio.

What do you think about folks across Canada who are responding to this trade dispute by buying Canadian?

I don't agree with them. If anything, listening to this has sort of convinced me that this whole boycotting American goods is just going to make matters worse.

I'm not sure why we're punishing the Americans who are in the same boat we are.

Most of them don't have any control over what's going on. From the program, it sounds as if most of them don't agree with what Donald Trump is doing anyway.

Rob Ferrett, left, and Duncan McCue co-hosted a special broadcast of Cross Country Checkup in Madison, Wisconsin. (Jeffrey Potter/WPR)

President Trump is putting a lot of pressure on Canada when it comes to trade. Is it fair for Canadian citizens to push back and put pressure in their own small way by buying Canadian products?

I don't think we had any choice. I mean, I'm not saying the government always knows what it's doing. But I think they're doing a definitely better than adequate job in dealing with this, and we had to retaliate.

But that's not quite the same as scouring every single label in a grocery store in order to to punish Donald Trump. Because it's not punishing Donald Trump and it's not punishing Americans in New York City and San Francisco.

It does sound as if it's punishing a lot of Americans in Kentucky and Wisconsin and Minnesota and so on. Listening to Americans on this program, it's really reinforced my idea that I'm not going to do that.

Written by Caro Rolando. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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