Protectionism Rears Its Ugly Head

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THE Group of Seven finance ministers and central bankers, meeting in Rome yesterday, criticised the protectionist tone of President Barack Obama’s $787 billion stimulus plan. Closer to home, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is concerned over re-opening talks on the softwood lumber trade issue.

Canadian lumber companies were still holding out hope that the illegal trade tarrifs charged on softwood lumber imports into the US would eventually be returned. With interest, the amount just happens to equal $787 billion.

Now several Canadian's are asking, why don't the US just hand over the stimulus funding to Canada? With a population of just over 33 million, that $787 billion could equal about CDN $30,000 for each person in Canada.

If you are Canadian, what could you do with that much money? Do you know how many lottery tickets that is? You could strike it rich!

Jim FlahertyCanadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said that the potential windfall is just what we need. He also suggested that Candians should not expect to see the money any time soon. You should not go out and buy that HDTV, expecting that the money will be there before you have to make a payment on your credit card.

Canadian lumber companies are planning a series of TV ads, to be broadcast throughout the US. The ads are meant to make the US governent feel guilty, in the hope that they will cough up the money.

Meanwhile, foriegn nationals working in the US on visas under the NAFTA provisions, are concerned about the implications of the protectionist comments made by the President. In silicon valley for example, it consists of about one third Chinese and one third Indian nationals. The implications on high tech companies and fast food establishments could be extreme.

Also, due to the closeures of sawmills across North America, there is widespread concern that there is not enough sawdust for the manufacture of chicken mcnuggets.