Monday, June 25, 2012

Ever more trade

More praise for HM PM Harper from both Sides of the border!! It Should be named The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Bridge!!! Canadians understand this, although perhaps not with the clarity that Mr. Harper understands it. While Canada now pursues free-trade agreements around the world, the Prime Minister is under no illusion about the relative importance of them. The Ambassador Bridge, all by itself, carries more trade than the United States carries with all of Europe. As Christopher Sands, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, said in this context: “If al-Qaeda had understood [the importance of the Windsor-Detroit crossing], it would have done more damage to the U.S. economy by destroying this bridge than the World Trade Center in New York.” Mr. Harper made sure that no one could doubt his own unequivocal assessment of the importance of the Windsor-Detroit connection. “This is the single most important piece of infrastructure our government will complete while I am Prime Minister,” he said – perhaps, with these words, anticipating success in the next federal election. “We are prepared to do whatever it takes. Make no mistake: Whatever battles lie ahead, this bridge is going to get done.” (Mr. Harper presumably meant this warning for U.S. billionaire Manuel Moroun, the litigious owner of the Ambassador Bridge, who purchased it in 1979 from another private owner and has singlehandedly blocked the construction of a new bridge for the past decade. At any rate, it is hard to imagine any significant political opposition to the DRIC within Canada.) For its part, The Detroit Free Press gives the credit for the new bridge to what it describes as Mr. Harper’s extraordinary “Canadian vision” – a strategic insight that recognizes the evolving importance of the Windsor-Detroit crossing. Yes, the bridge will “widen the pipeline between Detroit and Windsor” and end the idle-time gridlock on the Ambassador Bridge. But it will do more, too, by expediting the movement of goods between Asia and Mexico, between Europe and Latin America. From this perspective, the DRIC’s importance transcends its North American role and becomes a global hub for international trade.

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