Another great editorial in the NP. I have generally been very positiuve about Tory attempts to increase free trade. I am not very happy about the BHP decision and apparently neither are our trading partners. Trade will bring more jobs and prosperity. Barriers should be lowered , not raised. I think Canad should unilaterally drop trade restrictions against the world's poorest nations ( especially if they are memebers of the Commonwealth). Let Canad truly be a free trader.
We all pay for protectionism
The federal government's decision to block the foreign takeover of Potash Corporation is coming home to roost, and the casualty may be billions of dollars in investment and trade. No, not for BHP Billiton or the shareholders of Potash Corporation, but for all Canadians. By opting to nix BHP's bid (and safeguard 13 Conservative seats in Saskatchewan), the government is imperiling the conclusion of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
The EU is currently Canada's second-largest trading partner, after the United States. According to the WTO, it accounted for 9% of Canadian trade in goods ($26-billion in exports, $41-billion in imports) in 2009 and 18% of its trade in services ($11.6-billion in exports, $14.4-billion in imports) in 2008.
CETA would significantly boost these numbers, and our GDP. According to the EU CETA delegation and its senior advisor, Canadian trade expert Fred Kingston, Canadian exports to the EU
would rise by over 20% by 2014. This would yield an annual increase of 0.77% in Canada's GDP (or $12-billion), 46% of which would come from the liberalization of services, 33% from full tariff elimination and 21% from the reduction of non-tariff barriers.