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Canada-China relations have entered new territory. So, where do we go from here?
JANUARY 18, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | BARRIE MCKENNA ECONOMICS REPORTER
OTTAWA.

“Kill the chicken to scare the monkey.”

Canada is the luckless chicken in this unfortunate scenario. In effect, China is making an example of us – a weaker middle power – to threaten others who stand in its way, including the United States.

So far, it has meant the arbitrary detention of innocent Canadians in China, a death sentence for a convicted Canadian drug smuggler, an official warning about travel to Canada and a barrage of verbal threats from top Chinese officials......This all could not have come at a worse time. Canada’s ties to the United States are already frayed from the bruising renegotiation of North American free-trade agreement, and we desperately need new markets, including China, to drive our export-led economy.......Canada is also facing pressure from the United States and other allies to ban Huawei from supplying technology for next-generation 5G mobile networks because of cyberespionage concerns....“Canada is in a really tough situation,” acknowledged economist Gordon Betcherman, a professor in the University of Ottawa’s School of International Development and Global Studies. And lashing out at the Chinese is counterproductive...... here a few understated, Canadian-style tactics Ottawa should consider.
* (1) rag the puck as long as possible on any final decision on banning Huawei products, even if that puts Canadian telecom companies in a bind.
* (2) Ottawa should do what it can to expedite the extradition of Ms. Meng, including demanding the United States produce compelling evidence of wrongdoing, or release her when the process runs its course.
* (3) work with our allies on numerous fronts. Canada needs to get other countries to publicly shame China for abusing the rule of law.
* (4) continue to talk to the Chinese in an effort to rebuild confidence. Canadian business and tourist travellers are already cancelling trips to China.

Counterintuitive perhaps, but Canada should encourage Washington to take a hard line with China in trade talks. Reports Friday that China has offered to buy up to US$1-trillion in more U.S. goods to eliminate the trade deficit is an empty promise that won’t change its behaviour. On the other hand, getting China to fundamentally reform how it interacts economically with the world would benefit everyone.

“The biggest non-tariff barrier in China is how China runs, as a country,” Mr. MacIntosh explained. “It’s an outlier in the world.”
5G  Barrie_McKenna  beyondtheU.S.  bullying  Canada  Canada-China_relations  China  cyber_security  cyberespionage  Huawei  international_trade  Meng_Wanzhou  NAFTA  non-tariff_barriers  middle-powers  arbitrariness  understated 
january 2019 by jerryking
Toys ‘R’ Us versus Amazon: No contest
September 17, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | BARRIE MCKENNA.

It's a new era all right...The industry is grappling with the relentless onslaught of Amazon and Alibaba, excess retail space, the retreat of department-store mall anchors and intense price competition. Meanwhile, consumers are shifting their spending from things to experiences, including entertainment and dining-out
The harsh reality for Toys "R" Us and other big-box stores is that they aren't indispensable any more as North Americans discover new and different ways to shop. You don't have to schlep to a suburban shopping strip to find the newest Lego set, video game or electronic gadget. Order it online, and you can have it delivered to your door, often for free the next day, at the best price available anywhere.

....retail experts have warned that a tipping point was coming for the industry as more and more shopping moved online. This looks like the year.....Analysts predict that a record 9,000 retail stores will close across the U.S. in 2017. That would eclipse 2016, when roughly 6,200 stores closed....
Retailers have been filing for protection from creditors at a faster pace this year than at any time since the 2008-09 recession. Toys "R" Us joins a long list of famous retail casualties of 2017 in Canada and the U.S., including Sears Canada, The Limited, Wet Seal, BCBG, Payless Shoes, Sports Authority, Gymboree, Aéropostale and American Apparel. And there are still three-plus months to go.....The rise of Amazon is proof that consumers are embracing new ways of buying. The company's North American sales grew five-fold to $80-billion (U.S.) between 2010 and 2016. Half of U.S. households now subscribe to Amazon Prime, a fee-based service that offers free two-day shipping, music and video streaming plus other perks......What's alarming isn't so much the share of shopping that has moved online, but the speed at which it's moved.

Warren Buffett sold off nearly $1-billion worth of Walmart stock earlier this year, explaining that traditional retailing is "too tough" a business in the age of Amazon. "The world has evolved, and it's going to keep evolving, but the speed is increasing," Mr. Buffett said.

Amazon and China's Alibaba won't be the only winners in this new era. A vast array of other businesses feed off the online industry, including shippers and logistics companies, plus a vast network of technology companies, including store platforms (Shopify), analytics companies and app makers.
Amazon  Alibaba  e-commerce  store_closings  Barrie_McKenna  retailers  bricks-and-mortar  toys  Toys_"R"_Us  bankruptcies  brands  Amazon_Prime  home-delivery  accelerated_lifecycles  Warren_Buffett  Wal-Mart  big-box 
september 2017 by jerryking
Canada's big banks are no angels, but have any laws been broken? - The Globe and Mail
BARRIE MCKENNA
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Mar. 17, 2017

Media reports high-pressure sales tactics at Toronto-Dominion Bank and other Canadian financial institutions. Stories of tellers signing up customers to high-fee accounts and credit cards without their knowledge. Loan officers pushing clients to take on lines of credit they don’t want or need. And financial advisers selling unsuitable mutual funds to vulnerable investors. Sleazy behaviour, if true. Perhaps even illegal. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada this week warned banks to behave and launched a review of their consent and disclosure practices. .......The big banks are no angels. But what’s happening here looks a lot more like a labour-relations feud than a financial scandal. Employees are rebelling against a cutthroat sales culture that has permeated the once-staid retail operations of the big banks.

The workplace environment at TD and other major banks may well be toxic for many employees, who feel unduly stressed about meeting aggressive sales goals.
Canada  banks  Bay_Street  financial_services  toxic_behaviors  predatory_practices  regulators  organizational_culture  workplaces  disclosure  complaints  consent  consumer_protection  sleaze  Barrie_McKenna 
march 2017 by jerryking
The incredible shrinking retail sector - The Globe and Mail
BARRIE McKENNA
The incredible shrinking retail sector
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Feb. 12 2015

Entire categories of products are moving online, making many bricks-and-mortar stores redundant. Video and book stores are all but gone. Office supply, electronics and department stores are in retreat. A future without auto showrooms and movie theatres may be coming.

The era of the big-box store has peaked as city dwellers move back downtown, where space is at a premium.
Barrie_McKenna  retailers  size  mergers_&_acquisitions  downsizing  small_spaces  grocery  supermarkets  pharmacies  proximity  convenience_stores  store_footprints  post-deal_integration  bricks-and-mortar  consolidation  distribution_channels  Target  Wal-Mart  Loblaws  competitive_landscape  e-commerce  fresh_produce  perishables  big-box  supply_chains 
february 2015 by jerryking
Rogers plays defence with its new investment in hockey - The Globe and Mail
BARRIE McKENNA

OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail

Published Sunday, Dec. 01 2013,
Barrie_McKenna  NHL  hockey  Rogers  CATV  television 
december 2013 by jerryking
How Steeltown transformed into a booming agrifood hub - The Globe and Mail
Oct. 02 2013 | The Globe and Mail| by BARRIE McKENNA.

“Agriculture is the new steel for Hamilton,” said Ian Hamilton, vice-president of the Hamilton Port Authority and head of real estate development. “Five years ago, the market for steel collapsed. And that’s when it hit home that we had to diversify.”

Since then, the port has attracted $200-million in new investment, including $40-million in various agriculture-related projects, such as new and expanded storage and handling for grains and fertilizer. In 2007, Bunge Ltd. expanded its canola processing plant and Biox Corp. opened a 67-million-litre biodiesel plant at the port....The port has ambitious plans to boost tonnage capacity by expanding rail links that would double the length of trains that can access the harbour, to 100 cars from 50. Efforts are also under way to attract new value-added manufacturers, such as margarine makers, distilleries and breweries plus a flour mill to help feed a nearby Maple Leaf Foods mega-bakery, opened in 2011.
Hamilton  agriculture  Barrie_McKenna  grains  pulses  hubs  exporting  Bunge  agribusiness  waterfronts 
october 2013 by jerryking
The hidden price of public-private partnerships - The Globe and Mail
BARRIE McKENNA

OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail

Last updated Sunday, Oct. 14 2012
P3  infrastructure  Barrie_McKenna  hidden 
november 2012 by jerryking
Canada’s hazy takeover rules hurt everyone
Oct. 28 2012 | The Globe and Mail |Barrie McKenna.

Following an upsurge of national angst triggered by the buyouts of Canadian resource giants Inco, Falconbridge Ltd. and Rio Tinto Alcan in 2006, Ottawa ordered up the exhaustive “Compete to Win” report. The result was the 2008 federal Competition Policy Review Panel headed by former BCE Inc. chairman Lynton (Red) Wilson, which urged the government to turn the investment review process on its head.

The Wilson panel anticipated the growing clout of state-owned investors as well as the commodities super cycle.

Mr. Wilson’s prescription was to scrap the “net benefit to Canada” test and replace it with a “national interest” benchmark used by countries such as Australia. He urged Ottawa to reverse the burden of proof on takeovers, making it the responsibility of the government to demonstrate why a deal is bad for the country, not the other way around. And the panel said the government should publicly explain the rationale for blocking or approving transactions, scrapping a regime that “does not meet contemporary standards for transparency.”...The absence of investment reciprocity or evidence that state-owned actors won’t behave like other companies both would qualify as possible reasons for saying no.
barriers_to_entry  Barrie_McKenna  FDI  SOEs  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  rules_of_the_game  commodities_supercycle  national_interests  competition_policy  transparency  say_"no" 
november 2012 by jerryking
Politics - The Globe and Mail
Barrie McKenna

Ottawa

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

Last updated Saturday, Nov. 06, 201
potash  Barrie_McKenna 
april 2011 by jerryking

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