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POLI 243 notes March 17

POLI 243 notes March 17 - Canada Pursues Free Trade with...

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March 17, 2009 Canada Pursues Free Trade with the United States *Midterm on Thursday, exact same format as the previous one, check webct for past midterms to study from The Election of 1988 (Domestic) - Organizing on the basis of trade: producers versus consumers o Idea that liberalization would affect lots of sectors doesn’t make much sense given that the two countries already had low tariffs o Gains of consumers are dispersed across so many people/so many products that it very small, so it is difficult to organize consumers politically – therefore we typically ignore them when looking at trade and instead focus on the producers For producers, difference in price multiplied by the huge amount of products they make is extremely important; so for them it is much more important than for consumers It is also a lot easier for a small number of firms to organizes politically than for consumers (Thus, when we talk about politics of trade we usually ignore consumers) - Conservatives interested in a regional strategy o in many sectors we don’t actually see groups of producers coming forward; producers in certain regions seemed very happy about free trade Ontario unsure about whether it was a good or bad idea Quebec liked the idea – ties between Quebec and US economy; export of electricity, things like lumber, etc. also issue of Quebec separation: thought that free trade with states would make Quebec less reliant on Canada and thus easier to separate However, the Tories told the Americans that there wouldn’t be free trade in everything – wanted to give Quebec certain concessions so they would be happy with the agreement without fully giving them the opportunity to become more autonomous (weird rules which made no difference to the Americans but were important for Canda) West/prairies also liked it
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