Saturday, October 29, 2005

Softwood Response: Time For Some Action

Mad is the story I tell
How long can we wait?
Come on, seein’ what’s at stake
Action for reaction
If your mind’s in a somewhat complacent state
--RATM

NAFTA has had its uses, but I think the appropriate response to continued US intransigence on the softwood file is to diversify our trade with agreements with the EU and ASEAN.

As I have mentioned several times, the current situation is untenable:

OTTAWA (CP) - Washington says it needs more time to consider a NAFTA ruling that orders it to drastically cut some duties on Canadian softwood lumber exports.

Late Friday afternoon, the U.S. Department of Commerce said it needs clarification on the order that it essentially eliminate countervail duties that total more than 16 per cent on softwood exports. It's the fifth time the U.S. has been ordered to cut the duties.

Canadian government officials responded angrily to the latest delay, which sends a negative signal as to the prospects of the multibillion-dollar trade dispute ending soon.

"The U.S. has ignored an obvious opportunity to demonstrate good faith and-or indicate that they are prepared to live by the rules of NAFTA," the official said on background.


How's this for clarification: Effective immediately, all oil pipelines will run east-west, rather than north south. How about freeing Marc Emory?

We need a strategy to get real diversification in our trade portfolio. It's not healthy to be so dependent on a larger trade partner.

I'm reminded of a friend who worked for a used golf ball wholesaler. He told me one day that his boss had rejected a tender from Walmart. I asked why and he said that his boss believed that the company would double its size with Walmart, but would not be able to control the selling prices. Basically, Walmart would hold all the cards because of its relative size and control over the smaller company.

The potential for manipulation with a larger trade partner is huge. Right now, the US thinks they can run roughshod over international trade law and contractual law, so we have to take them to court and refuse negotiation in the short term.

The long term solution is getting our eggs out of this basket: A trade partner that succumbs to intense lobby group pressure to subvert international relations and trade is not a partner we can afford to do 85% of our business with.
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See: Softwood Retaliation @ Renegades

2 comments:

mobylekyle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shamrocks! said...

why did you delete your comment, Kyle? It was pretty good...um, since you agreed with me..