Canada Shills for the WTO while Faced with Trump
In recent news, Canada has recently formally backed the WTO in condemning Trump for his competitive trade policy. As things start to look bad for NAFTA, it seems as though the global capitalists are being usurped by the more domestically favourable economic policy that the U.S. is currently pursuing, and the economic policy that the U.S. (as well as many other nations) have successfully pursued throughout history.
Yes, I’m talking about protectionism, mercantilism, yet also autarky, nativism and isolationism. In other words, I’m talking about economic nationalism.
Instead of barking, backing down, and turning around with its tail in between its legs, Canada needs to start thinking more competitively. It is the second largest nation in the world, with a vast abundance of resources, yet it sells its lumber off to China for cheap, buys Chinese wooden furniture at a much higher rate, sells its oil to the U.S., and buys imported U.S. petroleum products at a much higher rate, and in spite of all of this, it still seems to be hit with tariffs abroad and it is operating with a trade deficit.
Canada needs to start making sure it puts its own people first and it needs to find the perfect balance between maximizing exports while marking up prices for foreigners as much as possible and reciprocating the trade barriers of our enemies in trade. At the very least, we need to make sure that our own citizens are getting the best prices at home, we need to increase the purchasing power of the Canadian Dollar, we need to be making use of what we have, and we need to make sure of this while we maximize the sales abroad of what surplus that we don’t need.
It seems as though Trump has been rather merciful with Canada as well as Mexico when it comes to his tariffs on steel and aluminum, but we are at our “final one month break” in the hands of an American national empire that is currently in the process of getting itself into gear and increasing its own total productive forces. Do we subsist with our attempts to ensure better trade conditions for ourselves and are we to become subservient to U.S. interests? Could Canada be the next colony of economic imperialism and neoliberalism at home while our enemies abroad take full advantage of the ladder to success? There is a cost for us when we kick away this ladder, especially when we find we’re sliding off the roof rather than having the means required to get there.
There can be no denying it, economic nationalism provides that stable support for success. It did when the U.K. pursued mercantilism and exploited colonial resources abroad, and it did for two centuries as the U.S. was able to generate revenue largely through tariffs alone.
Economic nationalism also helped Canada get off its feet under the National Policy of Macdonald, which persisted for National Conservatives from Borden in the 1910’s-1920’s up until R. B. Bennet in the 30’s until their party disbanded, after which the National Policy was largely adopted by Mackenzie King of the liberal party.
Macdonald founded the National Policy. Borden nationalized our railroads and mobilized our wartime economy, Mackenzie King nationalized the bank, opposed mass immigration, and after the liberals failed to be elected in 1911, Laurier had convinced Mackenzie King of the necessity of tariffs in order to be competitive in the international market, claiming that it “is to follow as we have commenced – a revenue tariff-appealing to the common sense of both producers and consumers … we must convince every class of the community – farmers, manufacturers, consumers and producers – that we are enemy to none, friend of all and that we want justice for every one.”
Just as Laurier and the liberals learned from Macdonald, so too must the progressive conservatives. To quote Macdonald, with our competitors abroad, we need to ask ourselves, “Why should they give us reciprocity when they have our markets open to them now?” for “It is only by closing our doors and by cutting them out of our markets that they will open theirs to us.”
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