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Friday, December 30, 2005

Canadian bacon

Cato guy Patrick Basham lobs another one over the border from the Washington Times: Ottawa's backward anti-Americanism

Canadians need to get over themselves. They need to accept the asymmetry of the U.S.-Canada relationship, one deeply beneficial to both countries.

But we have accepted the asymmetry, we love the asymmetry, which is why we have a huge trade surplus with the U.S.

Maybe we just have to be better sales reps; you know, pretend the customer-is-always-right and that sort of thing. Speaking of customers, I'm glad Mr. Basham mentioned the softwood lumber issue.  We haven't done a good job of selling that whole business to the American public. After all, they are the ones who are paying higher prices at the Home Depots and whatnots for wood because of their government's tax.

Hey, why don't you free enterprise Cato guys get on to this free trade bandwagon by telling Fred and Martha America they are paying too much for their lumber to build their decks and garages and houses, etc.? That might help us get over ourselves and be deeply beneficial to both countries.

Posted by Kevin Steel on December 30, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


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Leave the anti-american nonsense for the globe & mail website.

This trash doesn't belong over here.

Posted by: Tom_P | 2005-12-30 4:38:33 PM

What do you mean - paying too much for lumber? My understanding is that the US is saying that Canadian lumber is cheaper because the costs of its production are far cheaper than American lumber, because Canadians cut lumber on public or gov't land and pay low fees; that's effectively a subsidy by the govt. American foresters must purchase the land; that's a capital cost that is not held by Canadian foresters.

The US Foresters are protecting their people, who work in the forestry industry, from unfair competition by the Canadians - whose lumber is cheaper, not because 'Canadians are Nicer' but because the costs of Canadian lumber are not as high as the costs of American lumber.

Canada on its side puts enormous tariffs on US poultry and dairy products - to protect its own poultry and dairy producers.

Canada hasn't accepted the asymmetry. It relies on the US to consume 85% of its exports but treats the US with contempt. This asymmetry isn't due to love; it really isn't a surplus; it's an unhealthy dependency. There isn't another country in the world that relies so heavily on ONE country to consume its products. Other countries work in the global market; they compete for sales. Not Canada. It expects the US to purchase everything.

Other countries diversify and go out into the market world; they compete on the global market stage. Canada doesn't compete with other countries; it ships 85% of its goods to the US. It doesn't compete. Indeed - when competition appears - as it does between the American forestry industry and the Canadian - Canada gets very angry. It acts as if it is a Canadian Right - that the US take any and all Canadian goods.

Canada has to wake up and realize that its Big Brother, the US, is going to get tired of the Canadian insistence that it purchase everything from Canada no matter the costs - and it will turn to other countries - such as China and India for its imports.

Posted by: ET | 2005-12-30 4:40:10 PM

I find it funny that so many of those (like the NDP and Libs) exibiting outrage over the Americans' behaviour in regards to softwood lumber were or are against free trade in general.

Obviously the Liberal Party has had a conversion, and wants this election to be fought on how well the economy is doing (due to NAFTA). But the NDP just wants to have their cake and eat it too. They think Free trade is bad, but when the US closes their border to our wood, taxpayers should give bucketloads of money to those in the forestry who were affected.

Does every Canadian forget that if the Liberals or NDP had one in '88, we wouldn't be even having this discussion?

Posted by: Angela | 2005-12-30 5:05:01 PM

While taking cheap shots at the US, too bad Kevin didn't read the article that he linked to, where Basham said: "Legitimate complaints, such as those over softwood lumber, are one thing".......

Ironically, BC and most Provinces aren't lilly white when it comes to lack of subsidy of softwood. Log export restrictions send the wrong message and subsidize certain domestic mills.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2005-12-30 5:38:36 PM

"Canada has to wake up and realize that its Big Brother, the US, is going to get tired of the Canadian insistence that it purchase everything from Canada no matter the costs--and it will turn to other countries--such as China and India for its imports."

ET: The US is already buying a lot of stuff from China and India. Recall, this year China surpassed Canada as the lead exporter to the US and that fact has nothing to do with stupid things Liberals say.

Anyway, the cost of our wood is less than American wood, which is why they should buy it from us. We just have more trees and more public land than they do. What? We should pretend we don't?

As for protecting American jobs, yes, that's why it's called protectionism.

You gotta remember, it's primarily Congress and not all the US government behind the softwood dispute. There are a lot of free traders in the US who would support Canada in this if they were paying attention. I maintain the only reason the situation is as it is is because (there's verby mess for ya) the issue just hasn't got on the radar of the American public. We've spent all our time trying to get politicians onside and that really hasn't worked. So maybe we try to get the American people onside, and let them get the American politicians onside. You want to pay less for your deck? For your house? A lower mortgage? Canada can help. Let us help.

Posted by: Kevin Steel | 2005-12-30 5:45:43 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the US Vice President cast the deciding vote in congress about two weeks ago agreeing with the WTO ruling in favour of Canada? My understanding is that the President is expected to confirm the end to the tarrifs in January. As Ambassador Wilson said, they were already cut in half after that decision.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2005-12-30 6:07:01 PM

Vit: You're mostly right, Senate, not Congress, I believe, and I'm a little behind the times (old habits of thought), I hope anyway.

CBC: U.S. Senate repeals Byrd amendment
"It may not be voted on [in Congress] until February, some say."

"The repeal of the Byrd amendment is almost certain to pass through Congress unscathed because it has already been approved by Congress once this week. But timing is in doubt because many members have already gone home for the holidays. It may not be voted on until February, some say..."

"The U.S. forest products lobby managed to water the bill down before it could pass. Among other changes, U.S. lumber producers convinced legislators to keep the Byrd amendment in force until Oct. 1, 2007. That means that the U.S. lumber industry will continue to receive money from duties on Canadian exports for another two years."

Posted by: Kevin Steel | 2005-12-30 6:54:58 PM

Kevin- according to the CIA factbook, imports to the US from Canada remain dominant at 17%; China is 13.8, and Mexico is 10.3%.

My point, however, was Canada's complete dependence on the US to purchase its goods. Can you imagine a country where 85% of its exports go to only one country? It obviously doesn't compete on the intenational market- it simply ships everything south. And then, gets into a fit if the US doesn't purchase its goods.

The cost of our wood is less than American wood because we SUBSIDIZE those costs. Our low stumpage fees are, effectively, a form of subsidy. And the recent Liberal pre-election bribe of 1.2 billion to the forestry is yet another form of subsidy (by the taxpayers).

However, because our wood is cheaper because of our subsidizing its production, is not a reason for the US to purchase it. I think that's too simple an economic structure - i.e., an econmic structure that says that you purchase only the cheapest and ignore that this purchase might harm your own economy. Purchasing the cheapest lumber would harm the US forestry economy - and that would, in its turn, depress those cities and towns that rely on that economy in the US.
The US wants Canada to auction off timber rights at market prices to even-out costs. Again, Canada has no right to expect another country to purchase its goods.

To say that we have more trees and therefore the US SHOULD purchase our trees doesn't make any sense. We have more public land. So what? Your 'argument' is weak. Because China has more rice than we do doesn't mean we should purchase our rice from China. If another rice-producing country offers us a Better Deal (and a better deal is not necessarily the cheapest) - then, it's our choice.

Yes - I like your 'is as it is is because'...

No- I disagree with you. You are using an emotive appeal - and that's superficial. (You want to pay less for your deck???).

After all, Canada produces cheap drugs. Now - why is that? For sure, it isn't because Canadians are 'nice and all warm and caring about those who need drugs'. Nonsense. It's because Canada COPIES the formula of drugs produced by the R&D (research) of the US companies. R&D is extremely expensive; and it can 10-15 years of high cost investment to produce a drug. Canada sits back, does zilch, makes no high cost investments in research...then, the US comes up with something, Canada copies it - and markets it cheaply because it has no R&D costs.

IF paying less for your deck also means putting an entire industry (forestry) into a depressed economy - then, this is an dysfunctional economic infrastructure.

You know- we can buy copied DVD films for $2.00 each 'on the free market'. Should we?

Protecting jobs is an active and necessary part of gov'ts all around the world. Canada is busy protecting its auto industry by exempting it from the Kyoto requirements; it is protecting the Quebec dairy industry by not allowing Alberta farmers to sell as much cream as Quebec; it is protecting its fisheries who are dredging the bottom of the ocean floor - which greatly upsets environmentalists;

And nonsense- that 'Canada can help- let us help'. Are you serious? You are setting up Canada as The Kind, The Caring, the Loving. Rubbish. How loving and kind is it for the Canadian forestry economy to produce goods cheaper than the American, because its costs are much lower because of subsidies? How caring is that about the US forestry economy? How would Canadians feel if China dumped all its low cost DVDs on us - and put Future Shop and Sam's and etc completely out of business???

Posted by: ET | 2005-12-30 6:55:40 PM

Fantastic point ET!

We got a universal healthcare system that we "love" so much but we're copying american drugs instead of producing our own.If the U.S. had a system like ours(Only other countries that rival it are North korea and Cuba) the capitalist system wouldn't allow the devolpment of these drugs that Canada's copying.

As for the softwood lumber debate.
The Democrats slipped the tariffs into a bill so smoothly 4 years ago that there wasn't even a debate in congress about it.

Bush personally lobbied the congress hard to repeal the tariffs awhile ago.

Anyone willing to bet the CBC will be reporting that tonight?

Posted by: Tom_P | 2005-12-30 7:57:50 PM

ET: Actually it wasn't loving kindness I was trying to push, more salesmanship. The suggestion was one of trying to sell an idea, (maybe get on the American radar by using those allied to our causes--in this instance I was referring to the Cato--and I don't think it is a bad idea. Selling, rather than bullying them through a court, on an idea is a recognition of the asymmetry and in some ways supports Basham when he talks about Mulroney's approach.)

Because we have more wood, it stands to reason it would be cheaper, and it is not a subsidy just because the government sells it. Market costs? I don't know that there is a world price for wood like there is for oil, but I might be wrong on that. The royalty that the Alberta government makes on oil is not a subsidy if it's less than what Saskatchewan asks. Anyway, as Vit pointed out, it looks like we're winning that softwood battle. Fingers crossed.

Of course, we have no right to expect them to purchase our goods; we expect them to however when we can produce something cheaper. Now, having said that, I accept your point on R&D, but I see that as a separate matter, one of intellectual property where we are in the wrong. That would not be a legitimate complaint.

Back to Basham; his line about about "Legitimate complaints... are one thing" and anti-American rhetoric another.. well, they're not always just one thing and another; they can be connected when complaints are legitimate. The fact that some Americans might not know about the legitimate complaints is (or actually was, until Vit threw it in my face) part of my point.

Another good example of anti-American rhetoric when the complaint is not legitimate would be Paul Martin's comments on Kyoto and the poke he took at the US.
On the China thing, I was referring to this reporting on July:
China beats out Canada as top exporter to U.S.
Thursday, September 15, 2005, Page A1


Posted by: Kevin Steel | 2005-12-30 8:06:50 PM

The value of the softwood lumber dispute is worth about three days of trade between the Canada and the United States. It's a piece of the puzzle, but it's not even a large part of the puzzle.

And as an aside, why are we exporting logs or boards or whatever? Why doesn't Canada have it's "Ikea", exporting, you know, furniture?

When considering the unique economic relationship between the United States and Canada, it is worth noting the unique geographic and cultural traditions that make it so: things like the world's longest shared border, and the Magna Carta.

Here's a concrete example in another domain. The merry little band of pranksters that I am responsible for at least in some fiduciary sense is economically speaking the R&D arm of a US company, although we are legally a separate Canadian company. Together, we market our products and services on six continents. Now who is selling to whom?

For the United States of America and Canada to waste their energies on greedy pissing matches is to the net deficit of both countries, and those individuals and collectives who engage in such behaviour out of lack of self respect are, indeed, dangerous.

As Rex Murphy wrote on 2003-03-29:

"Americans are mad at us, not because we're not with them, but because of the way in which we have chosen to tell them we're not with them. If we expect the Americans to treat with some delicacy those matters that are most important to us, then they surely have the right to an equal expectation in how we deal with them. [...]

"This mingy undercurrent of smug anti-Americanism is one of the most demeaning strands in our national life. Indulging it at a time of great seriousness savages the dignity of both nations. We should strive always, Samuel Johnson once said, to keep our friendships in repair."

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2005-12-30 9:21:24 PM

I don't know what all the sqauwking over lumber is the Americans did the samething BC and Que. had been doing for years. Actually less. Instead of subsidizing the Unions too the Americans just want to help out the producers. If it's good for the gander why not the goose.

Even whilst this tragedy was playing out the US went to imports of twice as much oil as they had in the past. Even while our $ was in freefall. Due mostly to overspending by the government. Who happens to have increased spending by an average of 4% a year over the last 12 years. Not to mention the increase in the trade balance almost every month to where it is now 7.2 billion a month in our favor.

Not to mention defence spending and if you think thats a non issue why would China have 1000 spies in our country. Could it be that we have this vast reserve of unprotected natural resources, well unprotected if it where not for the Americans, who as it happens are polite enough to actually pay for what they use. Unlike other countries that seem to be probing and testing the edges of our country to see if maybe there is some weakness there. Oh say maybe in the Arctic.

I think I will go back and read what Cato guy has to say again and commiserate with him.

Posted by: Jeff Cosford | 2005-12-30 9:38:29 PM

I guess it will take an American (namely, me) to set this straight. Yes, in some respect, Canada subsidizes its softwood lumber industry. Why you guys use de facto taxpayer money to distort your economy in favor of wood-hewers is your business.

My question (and Kevin's) is this: Why can't we Americans just benefit from Canada's decision to subsidize? Why did MY government decide the fate of wood hewers in the Rocky Mountains is more important than the millions of wood consumers (building contractors, homeowners, land developers, etc.) who have to pay for it?

Please don't give me that "protecting jobs" shtick: if builders could pay less for wood, they could hire more people and do more construction work. People who don't have to pay so much for their homes or decks or finished basements can either consume more goods or invest the money to provide entrepreneurs more capital. Instead, Washington slaps a tax on cheap softwood, and my money goes to Congress (which is just less useful than burning the stuff).

The point Kevin was trying to make is this: in this "battle" between American and Canadian lumberers and politicians, THE AMERICAN CONSUMER IS THE LOSER.

If Canada's elected officials had Kevin's wisdom, there wouldn't be a softwood lumber tax. The American people would demand it be repealed. Instead, Ottowa throws around decisions from international bodies (not popular down here lately, BTW) to score political points.

The American people will act if they are informed about an issue. Kevin was just wondering where the American free traders are, and it's a darn good question.

I would hasten to add, if, say, Prime Minister Stephen Harper asked the same thing, the American right (which is the free trade side down here) would freely admit he has a very good point, and lobby the President accordingly.

Over to you, Mr. Harper.

Posted by: D.J. McGuire | 2005-12-30 9:49:27 PM

Oh, and may I also mention, I am stunned, flattered, and rather deeply moved by the reaction of most of the bloggers. Your willingness to look past this sore spot, and focus on what America has done for Canada is very touching. You know who your friends are by the folks who stick with you even when you're wrong. While I do think the President is wrong on softwood, I can't tell you how much it warms my heart to see so much appreciation for us from you guys up there.

Especially, I must confess, Mr. Cosford. That mention of the 1,000 ChiCom spies in Canada is of particular interest to me, for obvious reasons (china-e-lobby.blogspot.com).

Posted by: D.J. McGuire | 2005-12-30 10:01:16 PM

Oops. That should be

Time to walk away from the keyboard.

Posted by: D.J. McGuire | 2005-12-30 10:02:58 PM

Let me give you an example when this tax was put on BC had a NDP government. Basically the politcal arm of the Union movement in BC. In fact one of the governments senior advisors was Ken Georgetti the head of the Labour congress in BC. The second heavey hitter was Jack Munro head of the IWA. The sole purpose of these 2 cowboys was to take as much taxpayer money they could get their hands on and put it into Union hands. These guys really wanted to stick it to the Americans too. The NDP subsidised everything. It was amazing to watch.

They managed to take BC from a have province to a have not province in less than 6 years. Even while the greatest economic expansion in history was happening less than 10 miles south of Vancouver. The tax and spend was so rampant that they managed to push BC debt 30 billion dollars. With a population of only 4 million people a little over 1/10 the size of California BC carried 2/3 the size of that states debt.

The subsidies where just plain blatant. The Americans got tired of it. What with the Canadian $ continuing to decline a company like Georgia Pacific had no channce. Any tax would simply be revenue neutral to the American consumer because the Canadian $ contiued to slide. The Federal and Provincial governments carried to much debt and no end to it was in sight.

Georgia Pacific in the mean time does not log off of government lands. They own all their own land and lumber. It takes I believe about 25 - 30 years for Georgia Pacific to go from one end to the other and then start all over again.

The American Government was perfectly content to let Georgia Pacific struggle along as best it could but when the C$ was being pushed down the governments were subsidizing the producers the Unions even the cost of the logging rights was aritficially cheap. They had no choice.

You have to remember the housing boom in the US wouldn't even begin for at least another 5 years.

Once the tax was put on in the US BC scrambled to even the playing field. All of sudden logging companies began to go broke. No more subsidies plus the extra tax out of the US.

Canada is not as innocent as they would have you believe.

Posted by: Jeff Cosford | 2005-12-30 10:33:16 PM

DJ that number is from CSIS Canada's spy guys.

Posted by: Jeff Cosford | 2005-12-30 10:35:12 PM

The United States and Canada are at least in some sense two sides of the same coin, that coin being North America. Per both geography and NAFTA, Mexico is in too. And this is as it should be, for it is always easier to ship goods by land than it is by sea or by air. Pipelines especially.

This North America thing is funny, because as the "New World" in the technological era a lot of its borders were drawn via straight-edges, not via history. Certainly if one were dividing up North America into self-selected countries now, the result would be six or seven geographically regional countries, such as John Stuart Mill Land covering the easter slope of the continental divide from Texas through the Yukon (there's not enough water for grass to harvest, but there's enough for critters to graze on to produce protein, and there's lots of neat things to mine too).

Politically too, the divisions are stronger within our countries than they are across countries. For example, imagine a Conservative majority in Canada facing a Democratic president in the United States, in a few years. This political bi-polarism in both our countries is probably not a good thing; it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2005-12-30 10:38:33 PM

Vitruvius: I can see it now Hillary and Stephan.

Posted by: Jeff Cosford | 2005-12-30 10:53:20 PM

Please, everyone, pardon my political incorrectness, but as a matter of pure borborygmic logophilic glee, considering current events, I must propose: Chow and Rice!

Again, my appologies to those of you who don't get it, or who do get it and are preternaturally offended, and to the rest of you, you're welcome ;-)

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2005-12-31 1:08:48 AM

On the softwood lumber issue, remember we Americans are not as stupid as many Canadians think. Why is it that we largely can not harvest timber on our gov't lands? Because of enviro pressure groups. Many of which get funding from your government. I love(d?) Canada, but after hearing the mayor of Toronto's rant I have to agree with him. The fact that crime here is going down while it goes up in the "civilized" world proves that our gun policies are a force for evil (how can you kill civil liberties in a society not cowering in the bedroom?). Canada needs to be protected from this evil. Let's close the border for a while & protect you guys. It would be interesting to see if anyone south of Detroit notices.

Posted by: Clark | 2005-12-31 5:14:35 AM

What bothers me the most is the antiamericanism taking place in Canada. I would prefer anti-Islamism because this would be a more logical and healthy attitude. What good is Islam to Canada? See PM visiting mosques. Is he trying to attract more islamists in government? Down with Islam!

I suggest our thinking is perverted. That is why such attitudes can be promoted in Canada. We know there was more than 300 000 people killed in Irak while Saddam Hussein was in control. And you know what? How many Canadians kind of feel sympathy for Saddam? Poor little Saddam, he lost power because US invaded his country! And Canadians hurry to forget about 9/11. Same stupid attitude towards Iran and its dangerous dictator.

I think the softwood dispute is not the problem but a symptom of a sick behavior developping in Canada. I like the attitude of the US administration that says let us negociate that issue maybe pointing out to the need of negociating other issues as well.

Certainly Canada needs to work harder to transform lumber inside our country. Is it interesting to become an entrepreneur in Canada? Maybe we should reconsider our way of encouraging unions and start encouraging entrepreneurs. It seems that government complaining in international court is the same behavior used by unions when a conflict happens with the employer. Complaining rather than promoting entrepreneurship. Do we consider USA an employer?

Posted by: Rémi houle | 2005-12-31 6:22:51 AM

Jeff , you have given an excellent account of the facts (lumber is NOT an emotional issue!). The Cretchin and Pettypants (I believe he was the min responsible then) refused to meet with the American reps for lumber talks when the US/Canada agreement had expired ( about 8 years ago). John Duncan and Stockwell Day were on the Libs to do something (like move a finger) BEFORE a crisis could happen. The Libs did not like Mr. Bush so they didn't move, they snubbed - is that reverse movement? -the American envoy. The PC MP from Quebec was asking quetions about the agreement also , as was Loyola Hearn. The Libs are responsible for the softwood lumber fiasco, with the tacit approval the NDP in B.C., they were like kiddies in a sandbox, they could not grasp any action resembling concrete thinking. Wrapped in their commie hating for the average person they rammed Beautiful B.C. into debt and ruin - entirely irresponsible and crying 'Anti America' for all their woes they distroyed the healthiest economy in Canada. I must add that they allowed big lumber companies to clear cut huge swaths of forests in mountainous terrain resulting in floods and mud slides. Private property owners cannot compete against barbaric practises like those the NDP in B.C. allowed to go on - people who own property take care of it. Steven Harper will strighten this out if he wins this election with a majority government.

Posted by: jema54j | 2005-12-31 9:31:17 AM

"Protecting jobs is an active and necessary part of gov'ts all around the world."

Governments don't protect jobs, they kill them. Except for government jobs and the jobs of some of their cronies.

The best revenge on a country whose government is stupid enough to try to protect and subsidize their jobs? Trade with them anyways. Think of their subsidized products as a gift to the rest of the world. In the case of softwood lumber, fewer exports to America means cheaper wood here in Canada, and Canadian forests will only grow in value as they sit unharvested for a few years longer. And personally, I think that a government which owns most of the natural resources of a country is nothing but a stinking communist regime. They have no right to say anything about trade in the first place.

If you insist that getting cheaper goods is harming you somehow, then who do you think will decide how much harm is being done, and what to do about it? That'll be politicians. Now do you know any politicians who are (a) smart enough to determine exactly how much subsidization and protection is taking place in other countries, and (b) honest enough to handle the situation with complete fairness, and not take it as an opportunity to pay off their cronies and buy votes? I don't.

Posted by: Justzumgai | 2005-12-31 11:03:11 AM

Last two comments are zeroing in beautifully. I love it. You are so right: how come government owns all those resources in Canada? How is the situation in US? Something stinks here.

Guess how our fine and honest government will influence trade? PM knows how. He sends his commercial fleet to other countries so he doesn't pay taxes. Doesn't that look like mafia?

Posted by: Rémi houle | 2005-12-31 11:45:02 AM

Jeff- many thanks for your outline. As you say, Canada is not as innocent as the Liberals would have us believe. As you say- the subsidies were blatant - and our gov't keeps us in the dark on this reality. Most people know nothing about stumpage fees, subsidies, low dollar, private vs public lands - and our gov't has no intention of educating us. It prefers the tactic of anti-Americanism as propaganda control of Canadians.

Kevin- your URL on China didn't work, but the tdh strategies is a very nice site - which I hadn't seen before. I could go into archives for the China thing...when I have a bit of time.

I still don't think that we should expect the Americans to purchase our lumber. The two reasons you give (a) because we have more lumber; and (b) because it is cheaper - still, to me at least, don't justify their purchase of it. Those are, yes, good market reasons for the purchase, but, I don't think that one can move to the next step: you MUST purchase our lumber.

We, in Canada, have to move out of our almost complete dependence on the US market - which leads to our insistence that they MUST purchase our goods - and get involved in the whole world. We have to market our goods, rather than insisting that only one country purchase everything we produce.

DJ McGuire - I will indeed repeat my 'protecting jobs' 'schtick'. That is the duty of a government. I think your view of economics is superficial.

The US (or any country) cannot have a neighbour country, Canada, which relies almost completely on the US for its own wealth (Canada does not invest in R&D, does not invest in developing large scale industries, and functions primarily as a piggyback economy of the US)...

the US cannot have Canada undercut one of its own industries (American forestry)..because the Canadian gov't has so much money from taxes and from the lack of Canadian funding of R&D, industrial dev't etc...that it can subsidize its own forestry industry such that the lumber is dirt-cheap. Why not?

Because what this structure means - is that ONE country, the US, is forced to invest huge sums of money in long-term R&D, industrial dev't...while the other country, Canada, doesn't have these basic infrastructural costs. So, Canada can subsidize operating costs (not infrastructural costs) - while the US can't. Not fair.

Think of the whole N. American area as ONE area, as ONE economic zone. Why does one population bear the cost of longterm investment - and the other population doesn't..but reaps the benefits? Why does one population have to pay for infrastructure - while the other population doesn't - and can subsidize an industry so that its goods are artificially cheap???

Not fair.

Posted by: ET | 2005-12-31 11:49:30 AM

Cato tells us the truth weather we want to hear it or not.

Posted by: WLMackenzie redux | 2005-12-31 2:01:42 PM

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