Harper and Co have been working hard since their dismissal of Parliament. Coincidentally they have decided now would be the best time to introduce a crippling new extension of NAFTA into our lives.
"Because the president cannot rely on Congress to pass the legislation ... sources say the agreement as structured would allow the White House to use executive power to treat sectors of the Canadian economy as American by claiming supply chains are so integrated they cannot be separated.
While Canadian government officials declined to comment, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative distributed copies Thursday of the Canada-U.S. agreement for review by members of an industry advisory committee."
The Deal : In exchange for a 10 day window of opportunity in which Canadian corporations will theoretically be exempted from just some of Obama's protectionist Buy America economic provisions, Canadian provinces and municipalities will permanently relinquish their right to award local contracts to local businesses.
Our taxes, our jobs. Bye bye 'Buy Local', hello WTO.
Or as Steve himself once put it :"I do think that the proliferation of domestic preferences in subnational government procurement is really problematic."
Stockwell Day has been pushing the provinces towards this since last June, even though many US cities and states sensibly have laws restricting their contracts to their own domestic contractors, and now much of Obama's US-only stimulus spending has already been spent.
Well, these are the folks who negotiated the softwood lumber deal for us after all.
"Harper says he doesn't believe there will be any opposition to the agreement, but adds his government could ratify the deal without Parliament."John Manley, head of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, former Liberal deputy prime minister, Canada Chair of the deep integration project 2005 Independent Task Force on the Future of North America, and co-author of "Building A North American Community" is also celebrating :
"It's good that it has given us a relationship with the United States that recognizes the degree of integration of our economies."2010 was of course the date by which Manley predicted "the establishment of a North American economic and security community, the boundaries of which would be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter."
Or, as a Chicago School alumni once told me, Canadians will be ok with Canadian culture, industry, and military being absorbed into the US as long as they still get to vote and keep their flag.
We'll see about that:
"More than 25 organizations are meeting today in Ottawa to launch efforts to counter this and other trade deals whose aim is to destroy local democratic control over public spending."Walkom and Laxer also think this is a crap deal for Canadians.