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Archive for 'China'

BC’s Big Favour? LNG Exports and GHG Emissions

The hype on LNG has grown to staggering proportions. I have not had much time to debunk all of the government’s grotesque exaggerations and outright falsehoods. But Christy Clark’s claim that BC is “doing the world a favour” by exporting LNG to Asia made me write this oped, which got picked up in today’s Vancouver Sun: Is […]

The Staple Theory @ 50: Daniel Poon

We continue our special series of commentaries marking the 50th anniversary of the publication of Mel Watkins’ classic article, “A Staple Theory of Economic Growth,” with the following contribution from Daniel Poon.  Daniel is one of Canada’s leading experts on the theory and practice of industrial policy, and the successfull industrialization experience of East Asia. He is […]

The Blackberry mess and what Canada needs

Another year, another dead Canadian tech giant.  Blackberry was sold yesterday for scrap to the Toronto private equity firm Fairfax.  The purchase price of $4.7 billion is essentially valued at its cash of $2.6 billion and the value of its patents.  Blackberry’s active businesses are being valued at essentially nothing.  If Fairfax can stop the […]

Canada’s Economic Problem is NOT High Wages

Bill Curry reports in today’s Globe that, at last year’s economic policy retreat, business leaders urged Finance Minister Flaherty to reduce the pay of “overpriced” Canadian workers, including through anti union right to work legislation. Coincidentally, or not, the subsequent 2012 federal Budget introduced new rules which will require most EI claimants to accept jobs […]

Taking Over Nexen

The China National Offshore Oil Corporation’s (CNOOC) bid to acquire Nexen is a large and complex proposal. Canadians should call for a more thorough and transparent review than other foreign takeovers have received under the Investment Canada Act. A preliminary outline of possible costs and benefits follows. The Downside: Chinese Consumer Interests A company like […]

Dutch Disease, the Canada – US Exchange Rate and Trade With Asia

Today’s Globe editorial provides further evidence of distorted economic reasoning being rolled out to attack Thomas Mulcair. “Mr. Mulcair seems to long for a golden age of manufacturing and a low dollar, but his longing won’t take Canada anywhere. Not only the dollar but Asian competition has inflicted damage on Canadian exporters.” The implication seems […]

When a University Recruits Abroad, Who’s in Charge?

A few years ago, I wrote an opinion piece on “pathway colleges”—i.e. private companies that recruit students from other countries and then ‘bridge’ them into Canadian universities by providing pre-university courses, including English as a Second Language. A recent CBC News article  underlines how perilous such recruitment of post-secondary students from abroad can be, and why it is important […]

Who Wants “Closer” Ties With China?

The Prime Minister’s trip to China last week sparked a flurry of media coverage regarding prospects for “closer” economic ties between Canada and China.  Some even speculated that another free trade agreement is in the works (as soon as the Harper government inks its planned deals, of course, with the EU, India, Korea, and the […]

Comparing two carbon bombs: LNG plants vs Enbridge pipeline

With the spotlight on the federal government’s aggressive push to export tar sands bitumen via the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline to Kitimat, and from there by tanker on to China, the BC government reclaimed some attention on the energy file when it released its Natural Gas Strategy last week. With lots of glossy pages, but […]

Creating Comparative Advantage

Here is an interesting piece from the Financial Times on how Chinese companies are rapidly grabbing global market share from Germany of all countries across a swath of technologically sophisticated capital goods industries, from solar, to high speed rail, to the German fortress of mechanical engineering and machine tools. Had China heeded the mainstream view […]

The Conference Board on Potash Royalties

A week ago, the Government of Saskatchewan released the Conference Board of Canada’s report on the possible Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (PCS) takeover. It provides 77 pages of useful information, but is disappointingly thin on policy recommendations. The Conference Board downplays concerns about BHP leaving Canpotex after acquiring PCS. It argues that, with or without […]

In Praise of Export Cartels

Concerns about the prospect of BHP Billiton leaving Canpotex have prompted a backlash of hand-wringing about Canpotex’s very existence. For example, The Globe and Mail featured an editorial earlier this month that began by suggesting, “Canadian policy-makers should reconsider the status of Canpotex.” But it concluded, “In practice, unwinding Canpotex would be no simple matter. […]

Different perspectives on GHG emissions

When emissions are reported for the US or Canada, there is an accounting convention that restricts the total to emissions released within the borders of that jurisdiction. This means that Canada’s exports of tar sands oil are counted only to the extent that fossil fuels are used in the extraction and processing, not the combustion […]

The Workers’ Olympics?

On the eve of the Beijing Olympics, recognition should certainly go to the scores of workers who toiled to build the stunning spors palaces and who have made China into the economic powerhouse it is today.  Instead, many have received layoff notices and warnings to leave the Chinese capital, as the New York Times reported […]

Who bears responsiblity for climate change?

Canada’s Environment Minister, John Baird, is in Bali doing his best to undermine any progress towards a new pact on climate change. One of his arguments is that everyone needs to be on board, especially the US and China, the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases. However, it is worth thinking about who is responsible […]

Comparative Advantage Meets Capital Mobility

Thomas Palley, formerly of the AFL-CIO, just posted a very good piece on “The New Economics of Trade” that clearly connects the dots between several themes frequently discussed on this blog.

Sign of the times

From the New York Times (thanks to Price Tags for leading me there): The blue and yellow sign along Main Street in Ridgefield looked a lot like a historical marker, but something wasn’t quite right. Rather than commemorate a famous person who had stood there, or an event that had shaped history, the marker honored […]

Chinese toys redux

I overheard on the radio that Mattel has made an apology to the Chinese government for its recall of numerous products – a huge symbol of just how mighty China is. At the time of recall mania there was a lot of China-bashing for its lax regulatory oversight (not so much what it meant for […]

China and the end of neoliberalism?

Sachs’ article below suggests that China’s growing influence on the world stage may well signal the end of neoliberalism. That ideological framework of monetarism, liberalization, deregulation and privatization was imposed through structural adjustment programs, mostly in Latin America and Africa, with terrible results. Meanwhile, most Asian countries flouted those policy prescriptions en route to steller […]

Hewers of Minerals, Drawers of Oil and Gas

Yesterday’s International Merchandise Trade Annual Review from StatsCan confirms the Mel Watkins thesis that Canada is rapidly reverting to its historical role as a commodity producer for the global economy. http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/070508/d070508a.htm From 2002, the Canadian dollar began to appreciate rapidly against the US dollar (and Asian currencies tied to the US dollar) in response to […]

Resource Dependence and Trade with China

For more on the themes highlighted below by Jim, my note on trade balances and jobs is now available through the CCPA.

More free trade: Australia & China

Well, I finally got my name into the Australian papers.  So I guess I can come back to Canada now.  (We’re flying home, sigh, in another few weeks.) I worked with the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (sister union, sectorally and politically, to the CAW) to produce a critique of the proposed Australia-China free trade agreement.  […]