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Former finance minister, ambassador and businessman Michael Wilson dies at 81 - The Globe and Mail
TIM KILADZE AND ERIC ANDREW-GEE
PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 10, 2019

Michael Wilson, a former federal finance minister and stalwart of Canadian business who overcame personal tragedy in later life to become an advocate for mental-health support, has died at 81.

Under prime minister Brian Mulroney, Mr. Wilson helped negotiate the North American free-trade agreement and brought in the federal goods and services tax, initiatives that were controversial at the time, but have survived to become pillars of federal policy......Mr. Wilson went on to have a laurelled career after politics as Canadian ambassador to the United States in the late 2000s and then chancellor of the University of Toronto from 2012 until 2018....He was also a veteran investment banker with a career in finance that spanned more than half a century and included senior roles at UBS Canada, Royal Bank of Canada and, most recently, Barclays Capital Canada.

But, of late, he was perhaps best known for his dedication to raising awareness of mental-health issues after his son Cameron died by suicide in 1995, at the age of 29​. That work included serving as chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada for the past four years......Anthony Fell was Mr. Wilson’s boss as CEO of RBC Dominion Securities when Mr. Wilson was a partner in the investment bank, before entering federal politics. The two stayed close friends.

“It’s been said that one of the best thing you can leave behind is a sterling reputation for integrity and for making a positive difference in peoples’ lives, and this Michael Wilson has done throughout his life, in very full measure,” Mr. Fell said on Sunday.
Canada  Canadian  crossborder  Bay_Street  FTA  GST  investment_banking  leaders  mental_health  Michael_Wilson  NAFTA  obituaries  politicians  Progressive_Conservatives  RBC  UBS  UCC  uToronto  public_service  Tim_Kiladze 
february 2019 by jerryking
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
The harsh reality: Canada’s in a near-impossible situation on NAFTA, experts say - The Globe and Mail
BARRIE MCKENNA
PUBLISHED AUGUST 31, 2018
UPDATED 9 HOURS AG

Canadian negotiators faced a grim ultimatum this week – cave to a series of hardline U.S. demands or get hit with steep tariffs on autos that could plunge much of the country into recession....“They don’t believe you can do an agreement where both sides win,” says John Manley, a former trade and finance minister who now heads the Business Council of Canada, which speaks for 150 of the country’s largest companies. “Everything is ‘what I get, you lose.’ That’s a pretty tough starting place.” ...In the end, Mr. Trump’s erratic nature, not Canadian missteps, may be the x-factor that has made a deal so hard to reach......even in the toughest days of negotiating... the original Canada-U.S. FTA ...and.. NAFTA t....Mr. Mulroney knew he could trust presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. “You’re not dealing with a rational character at the other end,” Mr. Burney says of Mr. Trump. “The difference you had in my day is that at least the relationship at the top between the leaders was positive.” ......The U.S. President insisted in leaked off-the-record comments Thursday that he’ll only do a deal with Canada that is “totally on our terms.”..That hard line makes reaching a deal all the more difficult.​
crossborder  negotiations  Donald_Trump  NAFTA  free_trade  international_trade  protectionism  concessions 
september 2018 by jerryking
Canada in the crosshairs as Trump weaponizes uncertainty as part of bullying approach to trade - The Globe and Mail
BARRIE MCKENNA
OTTAWA

Tariffs are not the end game. Economist Meredith Crowley, she and Mr. Ciuriak make the case that the United States is knowingly and strategically “weaponizing uncertainty” by seeking out confrontation with other countries on trade.

“The Trump administration is deploying at scale a new weapon in trade protection – uncertainty,” they argue.

The objective is not just to reduce the massive U.S. trade deficit with the world − as Mr. Trump and his top officials repeatedly insist. Fomenting trade uncertainty is also being used to bully companies into moving jobs, production and investment back to the United States and to discourage U.S. companies from investing outside the country.

Threatened tariffs may be as effective as actual tariffs. That may explain why the Trump administration has been so insistent on putting a five-year sunset clause in the North American free-trade agreement. Canada considers that a deal breaker because it discourages companies from making long-term investments.

Uncertainty is being deliberately used as a non-tariff barrier and, unlike tariffs, it can’t be reined in by the rules of the World Trade Organization, NAFTA or other trade deals. “Unlike tariffs, uncertainty cannot easily be withdrawn – like a good reputation ruined, its pernicious effects on confidence can take years to unwind,” .

Canada is already suffering as companies delay investments, or divert them to the United States to escape the uncertainty of being on the wrong side of any protectionist barriers.
bullying  crossborder  Donald_Trump  economies_of_scale  NAFTA  non-tariff_barriers  tariffs  tools  uncertainty 
june 2018 by jerryking
Trump’s beggar-thy-neighbour trade strategy is anything but foolish - The Globe and Mail
CHRISTIAN LEUPRECHT AND ROGER BRADBURY
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL.

The U.S. administration’s tariffs are actually perfectly rational – from Mr. Trump’s perspective (i.e. his worldview).

The extent of the punitive tariffs Mr. Trump is imposing is unprecedented. They threaten to bring down the system of global trade – Bretton Woods' meticulously calibrated, multilateral system of rules has 164 member-states and comprises tens of thousands of products--by design.

World Trade Organization (WTO) tribunals – which are about to grind to a halt because the United States has not named a judge to the seven-member Appellate Body – were meant to ensure that everyone sticks to the rules....
The President is now intent on destroying co-operation within the WTO by driving wedges between the world’s trading blocs and countries. The United States would be in a much stronger position if it could negotiate with each trade bloc directly. ....Mr. Trump’s recent musings about replacing NAFTA with two separate trade agreements with Canada and Mexico are further evidence to that effect. Canada risks selling out the WTO by making concessions to the United States.

China, too, is negotiating bilaterally with the United States and is already caving to American demands. In the end, the large trading blocs are likely to divide up the world among themselves; countries with little leverage, such as Canada, could become collateral damage......Where once the goal of the United States was to rise to global hegemony, today its goal is to maintain that dominance.

So, that same rules-based system is now causing competitors.... Under these conditions, it is no longer in the interest of the United States to co-operate; as the global political and economic hegemon, the United States can win a strategic competition for wealth and power. Everyone ends up poorer, but the United States remains top dog because everyone else grows poorer faster than the United States. Beggar thy neighbour. Literally.

But being frank will not sit well with Canadians; painting Mr. Trump as a crazy buffoon is more politically expedient. So, along with the EU and China, Canada falls right into Mr. Trump’s bilateral trade-negotiation trap. R.I.P. WTO. Score: Trump 1; Canada 0.
beggar-thy-neighbour  bilateral  Canada  Canadian  China  collateral_damage  crossborder  Donald_Trump  EU  international_system  international_trade  Justin_Trudeau  middle-powers  multilateralism  negotiations  punitive  rules-based  tariffs  WTO  worldviews  mercantilism  zero-sum  NAFTA  Bretton_Woods 
june 2018 by jerryking
NAFTA is dead and Canada should move on
June 2, 2018 | The Globe and Mail | by PETER DONOLO.

So what is our Plan B?

It obviously means seriously and aggressively pursuing markets and investment beyond the U.S. For example, new markets for Canadian resources are now more important than ever. That’s why the government’s decision this week to effectively nationalize the Trans Mountain Pipeline in order to finally get it built and deliver oil to Asia-bound tankers was such an important step. This decision in itself was a significant response to an unreliable American partner, and a signal that we must look farther abroad for greater economic opportunity.

The same goes for the myriad of trade agreements on which our country has embarked – most prominently the Canada-EU trade agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The GATT and WTO breakthroughs of the 1990s also work in Canada’s favour, providing us with tariffs much lower than existed before NAFTA and the original Canada-U.S. free-trade agreement. If NAFTA were to cease tomorrow, our trade with the U.S. would still operate under the WTO’s rules.

Finally, we need to redouble efforts to attract direct foreign investment into Canada. The government recently launched a new agency, Invest in Canada, to do just that. But there are obstacles. The Business Council of Canada cites the regulatory burden as the biggest challenge. In a globalized economy, tax competitiveness is always an issue. And governments need to walk the walk when it comes to opening up to investors from countries such as China, even when there is domestic political blowback.

The only negotiating stance that works against Donald Trump is the ability and willingness to walk away. Mr. Trump sniffs out weakness or desperation – in a friend or a foe – and he pounces without mercy. A defensive crouch is the wrong position. “Sauve qui peut” is the wrong rallying cry. Negotiating with strength, from strength, is the only approach.
beyondtheU.S.  automotive_industry  crossborder  Donald_Trump  FDI  global_economy  Nafta  negotiations  Plan_B  oil_industry  pipelines  protectionism  tariffs  TPP  Trans_Mountain_Pipeline  walking_away 
june 2018 by jerryking
Mid-sized powers must unite to preserve the world order
Gideon Rachman

New times call for new thinking.....the world’s middle powers, Germany, France, Japan and Britain, have a dilemma: America and China are increasingly tempted to break free of the constraints of international agreements and to use their power to achieve their goals, unilaterally. Russia lacks the economic might of a great power. But it has the territorial expanse and the nuclear arsenal, and has made a mighty contribution to an atmosphere of growing international lawlessness.

The middle powers cannot flex their muscles like great powers. But they are international players, with global economic and security interests. They need a world with rules. ...What could the middle powers actually do, other than give each other consoling hugs? They should start by noting the similarity of their positions and concerns. For decades, the six middle powers have organised their international positions around two pillars: a strong relationship with the US and membership of a powerful regional grouping, such as the EU, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation or the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Donald Trump era has upended their assumptions. Whatever the Europeans, Australians, Japanese and Canadians say publicly, they are all dismayed by the current direction of the US. The protectionism of the Trump administration is a direct threat to their economic interests. (The US is likely to press ahead with steel tariffs on the EU on June 1.) The US’s current unpredictability and incipient isolationism also poses questions about the robustness of its security guarantees to its allies.

With US leadership increasingly erratic, the middle powers should do more to co-ordinate their positions and lobby on the big global issues: trade, climate change, arms control and peace efforts in the Middle East and Asia.
APEC  co-ordinated_approaches  Donald_Trump  EU  international_system  lawlessness  middle-powers  NAFTA  rules_of_the_game  rules-based 
may 2018 by jerryking
‘Splinternet’ to herald a trade war for the ages
Rana Foroohar | FT| March 5, 2018.

Steel and aluminium tariffs announced by President Trump have, of course, sucked up all the attention in recent days....but the bigger fight will likely be over intellectual property, and who gets what slice of that pie in the coming years. Most corporate wealth is now held in the top 10 per cent of IP rich companies, most of which sit on the West Coast of the US......China, however, is gaining ground in key areas like AI and quantum computing, and has also ringfenced most of the tech sector as a “strategically important” area in which domestic companies are given preference......A more interesting question is whether data and technology will become the subject of broader national defence-related protectionism. In many ways you could make a much easier case for section 232, the “national defence” clause that Mr Trump invoked around steel, in technology. The steel sector in the US has plenty of spare capacity and section 232 also stipulates that national allies could fill any gap, something which the president seems to have overlooked. Technology, meanwhile, is much more proprietary and sensitive — not to mention crucial for every industry and every part of national security.

A tech-based trade war would likely splinter the US, China and Europe into three separate regions. The EU is already going in a very different direction to the US in terms of regulation of the high tech sector, with more stringent privacy rules and limits on how much data can be used by companies for AI, and in what fashion.....Such a Balkanisation, which experts now refer to as “the Splinternet”, would change the functioning of the internet as we know it. It would also represent a trade battle for the ages.
China  crossborder  decoupling  digital_economy  FAANG  intellectual_property  international_trade  NAFTA  new_tech_Cold_War  privacy  protectionism  Rana_Foroohar  tariffs  trade_wars 
march 2018 by jerryking
Canada should prepare for life without NAFTA - The Globe and Mail
LAWRENCE HERMAN
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017

Canada should be considering a world without the NAFTA or, possibly, without even the Canada-U.S. free-trade agreement. Contingency planning is what trade-policy formulation is all about. Here are some factors to consider.

First, the NAFTA (like the FTA before it) is about preferential treatment. Ending those preferences doesn’t mean Canadian companies would be excluded from the U.S. market. Not in the least. Vast trade relations exist between the United States, China, Japan, Russia and the entire European Union, none of which have a free-trade agreement with the United States.

Second, even without preferential tariff rates for Canada, most have been reduced to zero anyway as a result of the World Trade Organization Agreement, so their NAFTA value is worth much less today than in 1994. On the non-goods side, the WTO Agreement ensures Canadian services and intellectual property rights of non-discriminatory treatment in the U.S. market.

Third, while the binational panel system for reviewing trade cases would disappear, agreement on that system predated the advent of the WTO and its own effective multilateral dispute resolution system, Canada has used the WTO system effectively over the years in dealing with the U.S., including in the ongoing softwood lumber dispute.

None of this diminishes the benefits of a successful outcome in the NAFTA 2.0 exercise for all three countries. But given where we are today, judging from Mr. Trump’s repeated public pronouncements, the vision of North America setting an example to the world has turned into a one-sided Trumpian quest for advantage.

Without the essential ingredient of common purpose, Canadian trade policy has to look beyond the precipice. No deal, as has been oft said, is better than a bad one.
contingency_planning  NAFTA  Donald_Trump  exits  crossborder  renegotiations  say_"no"  national_interests  free-trade  protectionism  beyondtheU.S. 
august 2017 by jerryking
Mulroney’s advice to Trudeau on NAFTA: head down and mouth shut - The Globe and Mail
LAURA STONE
Ottawa — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jun. 16, 2017

Americans should fear Canada’s economic clout but until formal free-trade negotiations begin, “we keep our heads down and our mouths shut,” says former prime minister Brian Mulroney......When the process begins, Mr. Mulroney said one of the most important words for Canada’s negotiators is “no.”

“We’re not some pushover little country,” Mr. Mulroney said......“There’s no Conservative way to negotiate a comprehensive free-trade agreement with the United States, and there’s no Liberal way to do it. There’s only a Canadian way,” Mr. Mulroney said.

“I think there are times when political parties should lay down their arms and support a national initiative. This is one of them.”....During the American election campaign, Mr. Mulroney said both Mr. Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders portrayed trade as hurting the U.S. economy, which created “serious problems.”

“The enemy is not trade. The enemy is technology,” he said, noting when he was in office, there were no cellphones or Internet.

“Now technology and automation are displacing jobs all over the place, and the challenge is to reconstruct the economy.”.....
closedmouth  crossborder  NAFTA  renegotiations  Brian_Mulroney  Justin_Trudeau  Donald_Trump  national_interests  advice  national_unity  say_"no"  Chrystia_Freeland  job_displacement  negotiations  economic_clout  Canada  taciturn  free-trade 
june 2017 by jerryking
'That was then': Mulroney on his role helping Trudeau, despite rivalry with dad - The Globe and Mail
ALEXANDER PANETTA
WASHINGTON — The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, Apr. 05, 2017

“The name that kept coming up again and again was Prime Minister Mulroney’s,” said one person involved in the Nov. 9 talks.

“Almost everybody we called with even a tangential relationship with Trump said Mulroney was the guy to talk to.”

Mulroney has since had several phone chats with the prime minister, that source said. He’s also volunteered in three ways: establishing connections, offering advice, and conveying one country’s perspective to the other.

For example, the source said, if the Americans were upset about trade deficits, Mulroney might point out to Ross how the deficit with Canada was a non-issue — largely attributable to swings in oil prices beyond any government’s control.

Mulroney wasn’t the only bridge-builder: Chrystia Freeland set up the initial meetings in New York between the Trudeau and Trump teams.

He credits everyone for making the most of these new connections.

“I can tell you I’ve heard from two leaders of the American administration... telling me the Canadians... were the best and the nicest people the Americans were able to deal with anyone around the world,” he said....
Mulroney is equally laudatory of the opposition’s behaviour: he says Rona Ambrose and the Conservatives have lowered the partisan temperature on a critical issue of national interest, and sent a letter offering help wherever possible.

“This is a national challenge,” Mulroney said.

“If we were ever to lose NAFTA you’d see grave challenges in Canadian society. So in something like this there’s not a Conservative, or a Liberal way to look at this. There’s only a Canadian way.”

He said that example of Canadians sticking together got noticed in Washington. In comparison, U.S. politics has been riven by partisanship even on touchy international matters, like the handling of Russian meddling in the last U.S. election.

This spurt of bipartisanship also contrasts with another important national moment, which Mulroney recalls with sadness: the effort to reach permanent constitutional peace with Quebec.
relationships  crossborder  politicians  Brian_Mulroney  political_capital  nonpartisan  Justin_Trudeau  NAFTA  advice  bridge-builders  Communicating_&_Connecting  national_unity  Conservative_Party 
april 2017 by jerryking
Freeland moves from the Davos bubble to the real world - The Globe and Mail
KONRAD YAKABUSKI
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017
......the Davos consensus (i.e. open borders, combined with activist government policies to redistribute income and promote social mobility, are the keys to ensuring global growth and stability. Ethnic and religious diversity as linchpins of modernity, not threats to social cohesion).

It is also a vision inimical to the Trump administration and senior Trump adviser Stephen Bannon, who is tasked with keeping white working-class voters on board the Trump train. In the Bannon world view, globalism, diversity and the nanny state have eroded everything that once made America great. He admires Russian President Vladimir Putin’s skillful cultivation of ethnic and religious nationalism and wants to revive their domestic counterparts in America.....Rex Tillerson has been criticized for putting Texas-based Exxon’s bottom line ahead of U.S. national security interests. But as CEO, that was his job. If he applies himself as effectively on behalf of his country, U.S. foreign policy is likely to be ruthlessly focused. Realpolitik, not values, will dictate policy. Canada may be an afterthought.

Ms. Freeland will need to direct all of her abundant energy to earn the trust of both Mr. Bannon and Mr. Tillerson. The Trump people have no particular animus toward Canada – but they will not do us any favours either on softwood lumber exports or renegotiating the North American free-trade agreement.
cabinets  in_the_real_world  Davos  WEF  Chrystia_Freeland  Donald_Trump  Rex_Tillerson  Konrad_Yakabuski  Exxon  CEOs  NAFTA  Realpolitik  U.S.foreign_policy  whites  social_cohesion  Stephen_Bannon  working_class  open_borders 
march 2017 by jerryking
The lasting legacy of a dreadful president - The Globe and Mail
LAWRENCE MARTIN
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jul. 05, 2016
crossborder  legacies  history  Obama  Donald_Trump  NAFTA  Lawrence_Martin 
july 2016 by jerryking
The test of true political leadership is to risk change - The Globe and Mail
BRIAN MULRONEY
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, May. 28 2015

The most essential ingredient for any “Big Idea,” however, is leadership.

Leadership that not only anticipates the need for change but is determined to implement change. Not in pursuit of popularity but to serve the national interest.

The test of true leadership hinges on judgments between risk and reward.

Change of any kind requires risk, political risk. It can and will generate unpopularity from those who oppose change. The choice for Canada or the United Kingdom in a fast-changing global environment is either to adapt quickly and take advantage of the changes happening or watch from the sidelines....As Reinhold Niebuhr reminded us: “Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore, we must be saved by hope. Nothing fine or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore, we must be saved by faith.”(jk: the importance of having a long-term vision & exhibiting faith in pursuing it).

It is in this perspective that great and controversial questions of public policy must be considered.

History tends to focus on the builders, the deciders, the leaders – because they are the men and women whose contributions have shaped the destiny of their nations, here and around the world.

From the bloodied sands of Afghanistan to the snows and waters of the High Arctic, the Canada of 50 years from now will be defined by the leadership we are given today.
Brian_Mulroney  speeches  Oxford  leadership  politicians  Cold_War  9/11  NAFTA  '80s  history  leaders  risks  transformational  courage  political_risk  fast-changing  free-trade  public_policy 
may 2015 by jerryking
A New U.S. International Economic Strategy - WSJ.com
February 5, 2013 | WSJ | by Robert Zoellick.

A New U.S. International Economic Strategy
Taking the lead on trade and open markets can enhance global security, opportunity and the prospects for liberty.

(1) First, this country should strengthen its continental base by building on the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.
(2) the extraordinary monetary policies of late, led by the Federal Reserve's continued near-zero interest-rate policy, are taking us into uncharted territory.
(3)the U.S. needs to break the logjam on opening markets.
(4)Fourth, gender equality is not only fair and right—it is smart economics.
(5) Finally, the U.S. needs to match growth priorities of developing economies.
globalization  international_trade  Robert_Zoellick  NAFTA  IMF  WTO  economic_policy  gender_gap  entrepreneurship  Junior_Achievement  infrastructure 
february 2013 by jerryking

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