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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
Meanwhile in the forest / In a parliament of trees, The ink will crack and dry all up, But the compass will swing anyways. And we don't need mathematics / And we don't need submarines
— Rheostatics, Northern Wish
March 11, 2006
America the Inward Looking

Even accepting that Americans are amongst the most inward looking people in the world (outdone, with certainty, by the French and perhaps the Chinese, although the latter’s rising place on the world stage suggests otherwise) I remain astonished at the sheer ignorance with which many Americans view headlines like this one in the New York Times:

Dubai Deal’s Collapse Prompts Fears Abroad on Trade With U.S.
Published: March 10, 2006

DP World’s decision yesterday to transfer a handful of American port terminals, rather than chilling interest in investing in the United States, may actually have made it safer for foreigners by relieving some of the political pressure that was building up against them.

But as part of a pattern of other antiforeign actions in Washington, fears remain that the United States is becoming a less welcoming place for investment from overseas.

“We need a net inflow of capital of $3 billion a day to keep the economy afloat,” said Clyde V. Prestowitz Jr., a former trade official in the Reagan administration who is president of the Economic Strategy Institute. “Yet all of the body language here is ‘go away.’

The main question I find myself facing is how America’s increasingly isolated position in the world affects Canada. The sheer volume of trade that moves between our border — unprotected for who knows how much longer — ensures that any change in United States trade policy will have a serious affect on our nation.

With both Asian and European ports quite a distance away, it’s hard to say whether Canada can (or will) succesfully build closer connections to these ports of call.

It may be that goods increasingly land in Canada for further transport to the United States, but I suspect that Americans would see through this and implement some form of change, the including Canada in its isolation.

I fear this isolationism, but have no doubt that it will be America’s natural response to the failure of its previous policy of globalization.

Posted by skooter at 6:00 PM This entry is filed under America, Politics.

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