Not likely it will, of course, but it does provide Harper with yet another opportunity to make concessions to the US that they haven't even asked for.
Currently, because provinces and municipalities are not bound by international trade laws, if they want to give the work to local Canadian joes, they are free to do so. According to Steve and Doris, this is a bad thing. An example given in the G&M is : "Ontario buys only Ontario food for its prisons."
News media reports on this are all assbackwards so I've translated part of one from the G&M for you :
Canadian governmentCanadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives are asking the provinces to join it in creating a new trade deal with the United Statesconceding even more sovereignty to the US.
Because the 1993 North American free-trade agreement does not include spending by local jurisdictions, contracts across North America involving everything from sewage systems to subway repairs are being awarded
outside the framework of continental free tradeto local joes.
Mr. Harper said, "Obviously, at a time when we're trying to
keep borders open internationallyconsolidate the power of corporate oligarchy via deep integration, I do think that the proliferation of domestic preferences in subnational government procurementCanadian nationalism and the "Buy Local" movement is really problematic."
Trade Minister Stockwell Day has been canvassing the provinces on the idea of
opening up local spending to free tradegiving up their local authority, citing the consensus on EU free-trade talks.
The Europeans would not launch the talks until Canadian provinces committed to negotiating a deal that would allow their companies to bid for provincial and municipal contracts on an equal footing. Only Newfoundland
refusedstood up for Canada.
Day acknowledged the pending EU free trade talks would likely compel the provinces to commit to
opening up their procurement sectorsfurther corporate globalization. "That's really opened the door to the discussion now that we're having with the provinces"Ha, ha, bet you didn't see that one coming," Mr. Day said yesterday.
See Monday's post for how easily we progressed from the SPP and TILMA to the new "Buy North American" proposal.
Friday Update : The G&M is cranking out two or three headlines of support a day now.
Here's one : "Premiers rally behind Harper in fight against Buy American"
Yeah, two premiers "offered encouragement". Big whoop.