Wednesday, June 23, 2010

L.Ian Macdonald on the Summits

L. Ian Macdonald has a good piece on those pesky summits. It seems that Canada is pushing it's influence worldwide.

"Then, Flaherty says, the G20 will be "asking the growing economies to ensure more domestic demand" rather than emphasizing exports. This requires what Flaherty euphemistically calls "flexibility on exchange rates." Or in plain language, getting the Chinese to agree let the yuan rise, which they signalled last weekend that they are now to do.

There are two other financial agenda items -quota reform of the international financial institutions, the IMF and the World Bank. What it comes down to is the G20 wants to break the monopoly of the US. and the White House on naming the head of the World Bank. And finally all G20 leaders will sing the praises of free trade and denounce the evils of protectionism. More lip service to the endless Doha Round of global trade talks.

Is it worth it for Canada, for all the cost and controversy, to host these summits? What do we get out of it? For Flaherty it's a no-brainer.

"We solidify our participation," he says, "in the world's economic leadership."

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