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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Canada - EU trade agreement

The Wall Street Journal reports that Harper and Sarkozy have signed an agreement to begin negotiations of a Canada-EU trade agreement, and speculates that it might have a little something to do with a certain Democratic presidential nominee threatening to unilaterally rewrite NAFTA.

Here's the best part:

The free-labor point is key. As recently as half a century ago, Canadians and Americans were pretty much free to work in either country without the visa restrictions that apply today. Under the proposed Canada-EU agreement, a computer geek from, say, the University of Waterloo -- one of whose alumni developed the BlackBerry -- would be able to take a job in Hamburg or Dublin if he wished; forget about Silicon Valley.

Isn't that awesome? It's so smart I have a hard time expressing just how smart I think it is.

Canadians will like having the option of being able to work more easily in the EU (who wouldn't?) and I can't see blue-collar workers feeling as threatened by trade with more developed nations like they so often are with the prospect of freer trade with, say, China. And, like all trade liberalization, it will be good for everyone - they are projecting an increase of almost 23% in trade between Canada and the EU with a deal.

The WSJ writers sound jealous, and they should be. You've got to admit, no matter how frustrated you might be with Harper - this looks awfully good on him.

Thanks, Obama!

Posted by Janet Neilson on October 22, 2008 | Permalink

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Comments

This *is* awesome. Do you have any idea what an impact this will have on the lives of young Canadians and young EU-member-country people?

Imagine--university students going to work in some EU country for a couple of years. More EU-country students coming to Canada to work for a couple of years.

Apart from upholding the fundamental freedom of movement, this policy suggestion is so exciting, that Harper has endeared himself just a little bit to me today. (Just a little bit. That $100 million for climate programs really sticks in my craw... but this is a moment to praise the Tories).

Awesome!

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-10-22 9:02:01 PM


Apart from upholding the fundamental freedom of movement,
Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 22-Oct-08 9:02:01 PM

Fundamental freedom of movement?

Posted by: The Stig | 2008-10-22 9:20:57 PM


I agree that that's an awkward way of putting it (pardon me, I was extremely excited to read this bit of amazing news). But my meaning is this: Human beings should be free to immigrate and emigrate across countries just like we are free to move around in our own countries.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-10-22 9:28:44 PM


Perhaps this takes the place of the NAU and the SPP. Why no discussion of this in Parliament? SJG.

full article at url below:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/17/business/worldbusiness/17trade.html?_r=2&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1224332134-ZYaFsoZj4mq4LjfOh0oC8w&oref=slogin

Canada and Europe Ponder Trade Pact
...

Thomas P. d’Aquino, the chief executive and president of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, a lobbying group, said in an interview that a deal for Canada and Europe could, in the long run, also involve the United States.
...
Jean Charest, the premier of Quebec, has been among the most prominent proponents for a deal. Europe’s enthusiasm, it seems, is largely a product of Mr. Sarkozy, who has a long relationship with the Montreal financier Paul G. Desmarais Sr. Through the Power Corporation of Canada, Mr. Desmarais and his family control investments in several prominent European companies, including the French oil and gas company Total and GDF Suez, a major gas and water utility operator.
...

Posted by: Stephen J. Gray | 2008-10-22 9:41:16 PM


Human beings should be free to immigrate and emigrate across countries just like we are free to move around in our own countries.
Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 22-Oct-08 9:28:44 PM

Then you are advocating a borderless world. Are you also advocating a borderless government?

So if 200,000 conservative muslims from Saudi Arabia decided to move to PEI (which would put them in the majority) then they held and won a referendum instituting sharia law you would find that acceptable?

Posted by: The Stig | 2008-10-22 10:02:17 PM


Oh boy. No, The Stig, I would not find that acceptable (obviously). I believe in open borders, yes. I do not believe in "borderless" government (I'm not a cosmopolitan liberal, but a cosmopolitan libertarian).

People should have their life, liberty and property preserved by the government. Any and all governments should be judged by that standard.

Sharia law is bullshit law, and violates the principles of liberty that I believe in. We ought to have freedom of religion.

You might think that *practically speaking* a borderless world would lead to 200,000 people moving to PEI and instituting communism or sharia law or whatever, but that's not the same as making the *normative* claim that they ought to be free to crush freedom.

In addition, the following is a logical fallacy: P supports x. x leads to y. Therefore, P supports y. That's conflating empirical facts with normative facts.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-10-22 10:13:11 PM


Oops, I wrote that too quickly. To rephrase (for the sake of clarity):

The logical fallacy: P endorses x, x leads to y, Therefore, P endorses y. It is a fallacy for several reasons. P, for instance, may not believe that x leads to y; or may not be aware that x leads to y. It is possible for P to endorse x, but only on the condition that it does not lead to y. If open borders would lead to sharia law everywhere, then I would not endorse open borders (for *practical* reasons. Open borders would remain normatively superior, but the costs would outweigh the benefits).

More: Endorsement is normative, x leading to y is an empirical belief.

An illustration: Jones may want his daughter to be healthy. Jones may have the false belief that he holds in his hand a bottle of medicine (when, really, it's a bottle of poison, except Jones has no reason to believe that it is, in fact, poison). Giving his daughter what is in this bottle will kill her. It does not follow that Jones wants his daughter dead. (Your argument has the same logical structure).

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-10-22 10:20:24 PM


Jaws,

There's actually a name for that fallacy, but I can't remember what it is.

Here's an example I remember:

1. Ox
2. x -> y
---
Oy

Where Ox is means "x is obligatory, or demanded by justice, or whatever."

And where: x = killing a murderer; y = the murderer's friend killing two other innocent people. This example shows why an argument with this form makes no sense.

I think this gets at the point you made in an exceptionally pedantic way, so I'll stop now (but you can extend the logic to create some really funky inferences.)

Best,

Terrence

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-10-22 10:42:30 PM


"People should have their life, liberty and property preserved by the government. Any and all governments should be judged by that standard."

They never are, of course.

This is the result of a de facto border-less world.

"The repercussions of the mismanagement of Greece’s immigration issue are beginning to show. Using the country’s newly-found population "diversity" as a Trojan Horse the established media, the academic elite and establishment politicians are pushing for the application of the doctrine of multiculturalism in all aspects of public life but mainly in Education. They have started revising all school textbooks, especially those of History, in order to make them more "inclusive", although it is questionable how a nation’s history can be "revised" in order to "include" and "accommodate" children originating from 75 different countries (as is the case in Attica schools).

Furthermore, the elites are promoting a ‘liberal’ sense of nationality and they want to change Greece’s Citizenship code. Moreover, plans for voting rights for regularized immigrants, birthright citizenship for their children and affirmative action plans are under way.

Due to the uncontrollable influx of illegal immigrants, Greece’s major cities can now boast of "no-go areas" and ghettos! Not surprisingly, they were followed by ethnic clashes and riots. The following cases are illustrative:

*

In September 2004, after a soccer match between Albania and Greece, extended clashes took place between Greeks and Albanians in many areas of Athens, Piraeus and Thessaloniki and in the cities of Corfu, Rhodes, Volos, Larissa, Corinth, Tripolis and Nafplion. One man was left dead and there were at least 50 wounded from the clashes.
*

In mid-August 2007 clashes between riot police and groups of Nigerian immigrants and anarchists took place for two days in Thessaloniki after the deadly fall off a balcony of a Nigerian who tried to escape the police
*

In mid-July 2008, in the ghettoized Athens area of Agios Panteleimon, a group of 100 people of Iranian, Afghan and Kurdish origin stormed a house where a group of 40 people of the same nationalities resided. The clashes spilled on to the street, one man was wounded and severe damages were sustained by the house and parked cars. According to the police the two groups consisted of Muslims who clashed for religious reasons.
*

In late-August 2008, in the ghettoized Athens area of "Historical centre", two groups of a total of 150 people consisting mainly of African immigrants clashed violently using iron bars, axes, knives and machetes. More than 20 were left wounded and 19 were arrested. All those arrested came from Somalia, Sudan and Eritrea, were between 17 to 25 years of age and had entered Greece illegally.
*

Finally, in early-September 2008, in the harbor-city of Patras where more than 2,000 Afghans try to illegally board ships to Italy, serious clashes took place between groups of about 200 Afghans and anarchists and the port police. The Afghans invaded the harbor and threw stones to the police. 19 port police officers and one immigrant were wounded, 3 patrol cars were damaged and serious damages were sustained by port buildings, nearby buildings, shops and cars.

These clearly demonstrate the Greece has become an integral part of Western Europe – at least as far as immigrant riots are concerned. These clashes resemble those that took place in cities of Northern England in 2001 and in Paris in 2005."

http://vdare.com/misc/081021_kolovos.htm

Posted by: DJ | 2008-10-22 11:24:35 PM


Young Europeans can already work in Canada and vice versa. The Tories are good on that sort of thing. It's been quiet, but in the last year we've opened our labour market ever so slightly to young workers from Latvia, Czech, and Italy. Next year we open to Poland.

It's not just Europe. Harper has extended these same visas to Chile starting this year and he's doubled the quota to East Asia and granted an unlimited number of young Australians the right to work in Canada for up to 19 years on renewable open youth work permits.

And there's no flood of people by the way. There's more, but not a lot more.

I'm happy with a European open borders agreement like Switzerland has with the EU. First off - it'll make me rich. That's a big incentive right there.

The only thing that makes me apprehensive about free trade with Europe are all their regulations. Like we can't call "Cheddar" cheddar anymore and rubbish like that. Or we have to ban chemical 'x' because of some law passed by unelected Eurocrat 'y'. That worries me.

Posted by: Robert Jago | 2008-10-22 11:50:52 PM


Robert: Does the policy proposal include a requirement to ban certain chemicals (or institute other regulations) if the EU decides that they don't like it?

That would be really bad.

Assuming that we retain sovereignty over those sorts of things, this policy proposal is going to help make Canada (and the EU) a lot wealthier.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-10-22 11:59:07 PM


Umm,

just to piss into your cornflakes here, but this didn't grow on Harper's pile, this was kicked off back in the early 2000s (Google for it), he just happens to be in power when the bureaucrats on both sides managed to finish the paperwork.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-10-23 12:01:25 AM


It's still a good thing, Snowrunner, even if Harper didn't spearhead the project (I care more for the project than for the spearheaders.)

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-10-23 12:32:48 AM


Peter:

There are examples of interference in other EU trade agreements. That "cheddar" thing is a standard clause in nearly every EU treaty. It's kind of funny, but it's also an expensive problem for Canadian manufacturers.

For chemicals and the like - it doesn't appear in the treaty - but that kind of interference usually takes the form of health and safety regulations the EU imposes on it's trading partners. The classic example is the EU blocking of American food aid to Africa because it might contain GM corn - which is banned in the EU.

Posted by: Robert Jago | 2008-10-23 7:49:44 AM


Blocking U.S. aid to Africa is yet another example of the idiocy of some of these Eurocrats.

I have another: Under NAFTA, there are regulations that insist that a pickle, to be called a pickle, must have a certain curvature.

Ridiculous? Yes.

Hopefully, open trade with the EU, and the free-flow of labour between Canada and the EU will not come with this sort of baggage. But even with this baggage, it still looks like it's better than the current state of affairs.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-10-23 8:47:14 AM


So if 200,000 conservative muslims from Saudi Arabia decided to move to PEI (which would put them in the majority) then they held and won a referendum instituting sharia law you would find that acceptable?

Posted by: The Stig | 22-Oct-08 10:02:17 PM

I remember pointing out to you why this statement was stupid a few months ago. Let me remind you!

Apart from the fact that it's just a stupid example designed to scare people into backing off a belief and frame those you disagree with as people who aren't willing to protect the rights of others rather than engaging them in debate, open borders would not lead to Sharia law being imposed on PEI in this situation - a lack of protection of rights from absolute democracy would.

Peter does not support the removal of the protection of rights from absolute democracy, (nor does anyone else here, I would hope) and so he should have no legal problem with a large group of people moving somewhere and attempting to vote to, say, enslave a certain demographic of the population, since Canada's law wouldn't allow it.

Since I know Peter, I can tell you that he would be appalled and offended that so many people were attempting to enslave someone else, and he would be an extremely harsh critic of their attempts, but he would not attempt to silence them or impede their freedom of movement, he would simply do all he could to ensure that the legal system continued to protect the fundamental rights of its citizens.

You can argue that the Canadian government has been too accommodating to those who want to suppress our rights in order to preserve the "cultural mosaic" of Canada, and I would agree with you, but I would also point out that this is a completely separate issue from the issue of open borders, just as over generous welfare/refugee benefits and other arguments commonly used against immigration are.

Posted by: Janet | 2008-10-23 9:46:39 AM


DJ, it seems to me you have listed some excellent arguments:

- for the liberalization of the education and the introduction of competition between schools,
- against ghettos
- against strict immigration laws, actually. A lot of the problems were between people trying to move freely and the people trying to stop them. A lot of people end up "criminals" by virtue of interacting with a legal system designed to exclude them from it.

Otherwise, you list some really unfortunate problems stemming from race clashes, but I don't see any of these problems as inherent to allowing people to emigrate to Greece.

If you believe that these issues are inherent to allowing people to emigrate, then shouldn't we keep all Nigerians trapped in Nigeria and Somalians in Somalia because they might not get along? That thought is disgusting to me. Certainly we need to try to find solutions to these problems (if any exist) but ghettoizing the world isn't the answer.

Posted by: Janet | 2008-10-23 9:57:32 AM


Umm,

just to piss into your cornflakes here, but this didn't grow on Harper's pile, this was kicked off back in the early 2000s (Google for it), he just happens to be in power when the bureaucrats on both sides managed to finish the paperwork.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 23-Oct-08 12:01:25 AM

Fair enough. I'm otherwise extremely frustrated with Stephen Harper so my cornflakes remain intact.

Posted by: Janet | 2008-10-23 10:07:24 AM


Some of my "emigrate"s should have been "immigrate"s up there. My bad.

Posted by: Janet | 2008-10-23 10:11:00 AM


I remember pointing out to you why this statement was stupid a few months ago. Let me remind you!
Posted by: Janet | 23-Oct-08 9:46:39 AM

Apart from the fact that it's just a stupid example designed to scare people............
Posted by: Janet | 23-Oct-08 9:46:39 AM

Ah I see, it's "stupid" to insist that a country maintains the integrity of its borders. It's no wonder you libertarians got five thousand votes in the last election.

....with a large group of people moving somewhere and attempting to vote to, say, enslave a certain demographic of the population, since Canada's law wouldn't allow it.
Posted by: Janet | 23-Oct-08 9:46:39 AM

Sort of like how Canadian law trumped Bill 101 in Quebec that effectively made English illegal.

Posted by: The Stig | 2008-10-23 11:13:46 AM


Stig,
Cry me a river.
There's not a better served minority in the world than Anglo-Québecers.
Au contraire, "moving somewhere and attempting to vote to, say, enslave a certain demographic of the population" is an Anglos thing, as we French and Natives know.

it is Anglos that have moved to French Canada (Québec) and tried to enslaved us to the point of complete assimilation.
Lord Durham anyone ?

Posted by: Marc | 2008-10-23 11:30:49 AM


There's not a better served minority in the world than Anglo-Québecers.
Posted by: Marc | 23-Oct-08 11:30:49 AM

Au contraire froggy. The best served minority in the world are you bums who are subsidized and coddled by Canada.

Posted by: The Stig | 2008-10-23 11:35:25 AM


You surely refer to transfer payments, a thing many provinces benefit from regardless of the cultural backgrounds in place.

To make sense, your last intervention should have, at least, proposed something like money transfer from Englsih Canada to La Francophonie across Canada but, as we all know, only Québec's money helps the French Fact across Canada.

Posted by: Marc | 2008-10-23 12:51:43 PM


"I don't see any of these problems as inherent..."

And that's the problem and probably always will be. Unfortunately, young white liberals will only learn the hard way.

Posted by: DJ | 2008-10-23 6:49:47 PM



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