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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
I've proven who I am so many times / the magnetic strip's worn thin
— Bruce Cockburn, Pacing the Cage
September 11, 2004
Canada’s Minister of Industry slams free trade

David Emerson was the guest speaker at the North Vancouver Liberal Party Annual General Meeting today, and he just slammed free trade pretty hard.

Is this a good thing?

One of the many promises Paul Martin has made is to improve Canada’s relationship with the United States. Martin, it seems, doesn’t think the former Prime Minister did a very good job (or maybe it was the Finance Minister’s fault?)

Emerson today continually referred to the U.S. as protectionist and went on to list the issues as he sees it: the U.S. has adopted protectionist policies on softwood lumber & BSE and will do so in the future. Canada is the most reliant of all the G7 nations (Emerson apparently doesn’t acknowledge Russia) on trade, and 80% of that trade is with the United States. We can’t let this continue he says: the Free Trade Agreement isn’t really working.

I don’t remember reading that in the Liberal Party platform. In point of fact, the 2004 Liberal Election platform says:

The Liberal government is a strong proponent of vital international trade agreements and institutions, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), to ensure market access for Canadian products and services.

although it does go on to call U.S. trade practices unfair.

So much for improving that relationship: I wonder what the party whip is going to have to say about this?

Emerson also argues that investment money is consolidating, and that Canada’s economy needs to be put into hyper-performance mode in order to be competitive. If not, we’ll increasingly see investment money go to the United States. While acknowleding this is a good and important step in the right direction, David has conveniently forgotten that the last 11 years of Liberal government have gotten us where we are, and it still makes me wonder why pepole are going to trust these guys to fix things.

By holding up Canfor as shining example, the Industry Minister raises an interesting question: Canfor’s stock price has almost doubled since David left - is this what’s going to happen to the Canadian economy when we vote the Liberals out of office?

Posted by skooter at 3:59 PM This entry is filed under Politics.
This entry is tagged: David Emerson, Economics, Liberal Party of Canada

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