Free Trade

Our Nation's Businesses Suffer From Canadian Disease

In competitiveness, Canada did not even make this year's World Economic Form list of the 10 most competitive nations in the world. The problem is that Canada is badly managed politically. In fact politicians run the show and have balkanised the economy to suit their political agendas.

Is Canada Better or Worse Off With CETA?

What we know about the proposed free trade deal with Europe announced "in-principle" just over a week ago comes to us through leaks and press releases from those generally in favour of the deal. And, already there's reason for concern. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will no doubt contain some good and bad things for Canadians worried about the security of their jobs or the opportunities for them or their children to find meaningful employment. Any trade deal would. What we don't know, and can't know until we see the entire text of the deal, is how the two balance.
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Ontario Will Pay, Literally, for Harper's New Canada-EU Deal

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said her government would support the proposed Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) -- with conditions. The province should be compensated by the federal government, said the Premier, for an expected nine-figure increase in drug costs, as well as the effect of subsidized European cheese imports on local dairy farmers and possible hardship at Ontario wineries. Think about that for a second. The feds will hand money over to Ontario, who will in turn hand much of it over to pharmaceutical giants.
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Media Bites: Will EU Free Trade Put Harper in the History Books?

Prime Minister Harper finally has his very own tombstone-ready one-liner, too: "he got us free trade with the Europeans." That seems to be the consensus bouncing around the Canadian punditocracy at the moment, at least. Everyone agrees this trade deal rules. An estimated 80,000 new jobs, an annual $12 billion boost to GDP, cheaper vino from Italy, yadda yadda. But perhaps there's another story here, too.
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PQ Supports New EU Free Trade Deal

MONTREAL - Provincial support for the Canada-Europe trade pact was only achieved after a stressful moment over Thanksgiving turkey this week.It was during the Monday holiday that the federal governmen...
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The Secret Trade Treaty You Need to Know About

In June, 2013, the 300 strong Hupacasath First Nation launched a court action with the Federal Court to stop ratification of a proposed 31-year trade treaty that, among other things, gives Chinese companies unprecedented power over Canadian resources. The Chief Justice of the Federal Court presided over the hearings, and a decision will be made by the end of August, or in early September.
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Think Globally, Not Locally

Plenty of people will shamelessly demand government spend lots of extra money to "buy local," even if the cost is millions or billions of dollars more. This is daft. The notion that jobs in Canada come at the cost of employment in Japan, India, China or Germany, or vice-versa, is profoundly mistaken. Jobs can be created in one's own country and abroad at the same time.
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Free Markets Help the Poor Better Than Aid Does

"Aid is just a stop-gap. Commerce and entrepreneurial capitalism take more people out of poverty than aid." Though I strongly agree with these words, they came from someone just a bit more glamorous than me -- Bono. The West's relationship with the poor is based on condescension and charity. When it comes to helping the poor get out of the poverty trap, one should not be trapped in preconceived ideas.
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One Size Does Not Fit All in Food Trade

Another Conference Board of Canada report claims supply management drives up prices and discourages international trade. There is no evidence that deregulating Canada's dairy market would result in lower prices for consumers. In fact, international experience tells us otherwise.
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Why Free Trade Within Canada Is an Illusion

Free trade within Canada remains an illusion. In its report, "Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness", the Canadian Chamber of Commerce estimates that obstacles to internal trade cost the economy at least $14-billion a year. Right on cue, this report was ignored, joining a long and distinguished list of excellent studies that gather dust.

Why Is Milk So Darn Expensive? A Debate on Supply Management

When it comes to food prices, Canadians often complain about paying too much. Who or what is to blame? Martha Hall Findlay points the finger at the supply management (SM) system. But Richard Doyle says SM has little to do with the price of milk -- it just benefits the economy. What do you think? Have a look at what Hall Findlay and Doyle have to say in our online debate. Then decide whose case is more persuasive, and cast your vote...
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The Darker Side of Free Trade Between Canada and the U.S.

Canada remembers a milestone this week -- the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. Former Mulroney government officials and the business community that supported the first-of-its-kind project are running predictable victory laps in commentaries this week. Well, I'm sorry to crash this little party but there is something seriously wrong with this picture.

Harper Should Lobby for Free Trade with China

It comes as welcome news that Prime Minister Harper will visit Beijing next month. Harper should use the opportunity to signal his version of a "pivot" to Asia -- without the overtones of geopolitical positioning that invariably accompany U.S. foreign policy. An excellent way to do so would be to propose a Free Trade Agreement with China.