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  • CCPA SK Annual General Meeting October 11, 2019
    Please join us for our Annual General Meeting in Saskatoon, 5:00pm, Thursday, October 24th at Station 20 West. (1120 20th St. West) Courtney Carlberg, author of Saskatchewan's Failing Report Card on Child Care, will discuss why Saskatchewan ranks the lowest for overall quality and rates of access to regulated child care in the country and […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Corporate Mapping Project receives award for research excellence October 9, 2019
    The co-directors of the Corporate Mapping Project—CCPA-BC Director Shannon Daub and the University of Victoria’s William Carroll—are being celebrated in Victoria today as they accept a REACH Award for Excellence in Research. The REACH Awards recognize “research excellence” as demonstrated through scholarly contributions and societal impact. Since the inception of the Corporate Mapping Project, Shannon […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Unpacking the details of Manitoba Hydro September 9, 2019
    What would a long view of Manitoba Hydro all entail.  Read report here.
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA submission to Treasury Board consultation on regulatory modernization September 6, 2019
    On June 29, 2019, the federal government launched a public consultation on initiatives intended to "modernize" the Canadian regulatory system. Interested Canadians were invited to provide input on four current initiatives: Targeted Regulatory Reviews (Round 2) Review of the Red Tape Reduction Act Exploring options to legislate changes to regulator mandates Suggestions for the next […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Join us in November for the 2019 CCPA-BC Gala, featuring Nancy MacLean September 3, 2019
    Tickets are available for our 2019 Annual Gala Fundraiser, which will take place in Vancouver on November 21. This year’s featured speaker will be Nancy MacLean, an award-winning historian and author whose talk, The rise of the radical right: How libertarian intellectuals, billionaires and white supremacists shaped today’s politics, is very timely both in the US and here in […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Progressive Economics Forum

Richardson Out

Obama’s selection of pro-NAFTA politicians as his Chief of Staff, Commerce Secretary, and US Trade Representative worried those of us who hope that he is serious about renegotiating NAFTA.

This afternoon’s news that Bill Richardson has withdrawn reopens the possibility of appointing a NAFTA critic to the Commerce portfolio.

Anyway, hope springs eternal.

Enjoy and share:


Comment from Stephen Gordon
Time: January 4, 2009, 7:57 pm

I don’t think a US NAFTA critic has Canadian interests in mind. Be careful of what you wish for, especially with stories like this out there:

Obama’s transition team said it is mulling “buy American” provisions for the stimulus package that could favor U.S. companies over foreign competitors.

This is not a game that Canada will do well in.

Comment from Erin Weir
Time: January 4, 2009, 9:28 pm

To the extent that renegotiating NAFTA could pit Canadian economic interests against American economic interests, I agree that US Democrats would not promote Canadian interests.

However, to the far greater extent that renegotiating NAFTA pits citizens’ interests against corporate interests, I think that US Democrats would redress the balance to the benefit of working people in all three countries. Indeed, the changes that Democrats have actually proposed fall into this benevolent category: stronger labour/environmental standards and less latitude for foreign investors to directly challenge public policy (Chapter 11).

In cases where a “Buy American” policy caused the purchase of American as opposed to Canadian products, it would obviously harm Canada. But in cases where it caused the purchase of American products instead of overseas products, it would help Canada. Because manufacturing processes are so highly integrated across the Canada-US border, more demand for American products would increase demand for Canadian products. Indeed, such integration would make it difficult for American policy to discriminate against Canada.

Comment from Stuart Murray
Time: January 5, 2009, 4:16 pm

Well, we have our own “Buy Canadian” campaigns that parallel the “Buy American” campaigns. You should either think they’re both okay or they’re both bad, pick one.

Also, I think Honda’s sales went up last year because they make the best cars. “Ram Tough” is a practical joke on rednecks, and they should get used to the idea that their machinery is inadequate. Any trade policy or industrial policy must accommodate sensible people who want to buy high quality products for the best price.

For me, the progressive trade agenda should be devoted to curtailing Chapter 11 and creating labour and environmental standards. I would also put in a bid for a minimum corporate tax (15%?), which could ultimately affect tax havens in the caribbean as they sign on to trade deals.

Comment from Stephen Gordon
Time: January 6, 2009, 4:41 pm

So Mexican workers – who are paid a fraction of what US and Canadian workers earn – are the enemy against whom the US and Canada should make common cause?

Why is this a progressive point of view?

Comment from travis fast
Time: January 6, 2009, 7:07 pm

Stronger labour rights would make it easier for all workers in NA to make a common cause, no?

Comment from Rod Smelser
Time: January 8, 2009, 4:22 pm

I agree Erin.

What’s needed are higher objective standards in areas of worker health and safety, worker employment and bargaining rights, and environmental protection. Generally speaking, I think trade agreements and agreements on investor rights ought to be separated. One shouldn’t have to give up the right to restrict ownership of plant and equipment, or land and resources, in order to achieve reductions in tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade in goods and services.

And surely it’s the height of insincerity for anyone to argue that higher standards are some kind of attack upon low-paid workers. This is clearly the exact opposite of the truth, but given a favourable media climate this kind of Orwellian double-talk can soon become very clever marketing for those whose only real agenda is making the world safe for the rich.

I find it breath-taking that after the Bush years and the softwood lumber actions that people in Canada, especially in the business press, are still putting out the old nostrum that Democrats are protectionists and Republicans are free traders. Sure the Democrats have some Max Baucus types who, besides expressing genuine environmental concerns about some BC actions in the mining sector, are also happy to exclude competitively priced Canadian lumber products. But on the whole, Canada did better under Clinton than Bush.

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