The Long Road To Free Trade

The Long Road To Free Trade - The Long Road To Free Trade...

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The Long Road To Free Trade Earl H. Fry There was free trade between Canada and the US between the 1850s and the 1860s, but this was stopped during the Civil War. Canada, after the Civil War, tried to bring free trade back, but the US has refused. 1911: Washington agrees to free trade with Canada, but Canadian voters toss out the Liberal government of Sir Wilfred Laurier. 1948: Free trade agreement negotiated by the Mackenzie King government, but the PM has second thoughts and scraps the agreement. Both in 1911 and 1948, many Canadians thought that a free trade agreement with the US would entrench Canada in the US orbit and chip away at Canada’s economic and political sovereignty. Many of the same concerned were still voiced when the Brian Mulroney government reached a deal with the US in 1988. The Canadian Senate refused to ratify the agreement, and they forced an election on the issue. Mulroney won, though, and Canada finally had free trade with the US for the first time since it ended during the Civil War. Free Trade Has Benefitted Both Countries Today, the solid majority of Canadians favour free trade. Americans, on the other hand, have been consistently support of the idea of free trade, but in recent years have been very lukewarm about NAFTA, with roughly half in favour and half opposed. The free trade that has occurred between Canada and the US in the last 20 years, finally, has been very good for both countries. Canada’s major stock market is near record highs (note: the article is written in October 2007) and Canada’s net debt has improved dramatically from being the second-worst in the G7 to the best. Total Canadian merchandise exports have increased almost 350 percent. For most Canadians, their national economy has never been better. The GDP of the US at the end of 2007 has surpassed 13.5 trillion USD, three times that of 2 nd ranked Japan. The US’ major stock market has also reached record highs. Unlike Canada, the US has suffered major deficits in trade and in the federal government’s budget. The US has large trade deficits with both Canada and Mexico, but this is offset by the fact that most of the merchandise trade is intra-firm and these firms are mostly US- owned. Two decades of Canada-US free trade has also been good to consumers, who benefit from a better selection of products at more competitive prices.
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Other Worries of the Critics (worries which have not materialized)
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The Long Road To Free Trade - The Long Road To Free Trade...

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