Trudeau sets sights on free-trade deal with China

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mark_alfred
Trudeau sets sights on free-trade deal with China

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mark_alfred

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/trudeau-sets-sights-on-free...

Quote:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau intends to play an activist role in promoting Canadian business and investment with a major trade mission to China and India and a keynote address to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

It’s all part of a carefully laid-out economic strategy aimed at seeking new trade arrangements in a slumping global economy, with the long-range goal of achieving a pivotal free-trade deal with China.

David Mulroney, a former Canadian ambassador to Beijing, said there are enormous possibilities to capitalize on China’s growing middle- and upper-income earners who are travelling more, sending their children overseas for education and buying real estate abroad. The Chinese also have high regard for Canada’s food safety, making it possible for Canadian firms to market fruit juices, wines and lobster, while also promoting health-care services targeting the elderly, he said.

bekayne

So is this "good China" or "bad China"? I never can quite tell around here.

jjuares

This was Harper's economic plan, sign as many corporate rights deals, I mean free trade treaties as possible. "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss".

swallow swallow's picture

Hugs for Saudi Arabia and China both? I'm getting increasingly disappointed at this government's foreign policy. 

Sean in Ottawa

Trade is ultimately about the control and management of labour or the product of it. You can only have true free trade between countries whose labour rates are similar. Otherwise it is a sell-out.

Paladin1

We basically have a Conservative government again.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Paladin1 wrote:

We basically have a Conservative government again.

Us old lefties have had a saying for that all our adult lives.

Liberal Tory same old story.

swallow swallow's picture

The Conservatives were far more critical of China for most of their time in power, actually, I've linked in the past to human rights advocates saying the Cons have always been better on pressuring China on human rights than the Liberals. Jason Kenney used to come to protest rallies and speak favourably of Olivia Chow, while both criticized the Liberals for being too cozy with China. Harper boycotted the Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing. It's only in the later years of the Harper govenrment that they became pro-China. 

So on China, the Trudeau government has positioned itself to the right of the Harper government. 

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/books/2014/11/engaging-china.html]Paul Evans of UBC on "Engaging China"[/url]

bekayne

swallow wrote:

The Conservatives were far more critical of China for most of their time in power, actually, I've linked in the past to human rights advocates saying the Cons have always been better on pressuring China on human rights than the Liberals. Jason Kenney used to come to protest rallies and speak favourably of Olivia Chow, while both criticized the Liberals for being too cozy with China. Harper boycotted the Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing. It's only in the later years of the Harper govenrment that they became pro-China. 

So on China, the Trudeau government has positioned itself to the right of the Harper government. 

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/books/2014/11/engaging-china.html]Paul Evans of UBC on "Engaging China"[/url]

So countries that are closer to China are to the "right"?

Sean in Ottawa

bekayne wrote:

swallow wrote:

The Conservatives were far more critical of China for most of their time in power, actually, I've linked in the past to human rights advocates saying the Cons have always been better on pressuring China on human rights than the Liberals. Jason Kenney used to come to protest rallies and speak favourably of Olivia Chow, while both criticized the Liberals for being too cozy with China. Harper boycotted the Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing. It's only in the later years of the Harper govenrment that they became pro-China. 

So on China, the Trudeau government has positioned itself to the right of the Harper government. 

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/books/2014/11/engaging-china.html]Paul Evans of UBC on "Engaging China"[/url]

So countries that are closer to China are to the "right"?

Perhaps yes if you think that they are refusing to engage in human irghts issues in order to protect trade for capitalists.

China is an interesting example that hopefully will find a successful balance that works for China out of the Chinese experience. As it is, I don't think you could claim the Chinese government is left or right in terms of how it operates today. It seems to have some features of both. As well the country is in part driven by circumstance so different from European and North American countires that a frame of reference that decided if they were left or right would be flawed.

On top of all this China is attempting another modernization on top of a very recent modernization -- this time to address climate change and polution. It is a massive undertaking that will have to be a national project to work. North America, of course, has not had to face this in the same way becuase we have a different context in terms of manufacturing profile, weather patterns and demographics.

swallow swallow's picture

Seeking closer trade with repressive regimes, regardless of human rights, is to the right, yes. Seeking to link trade deals to human rights, labour standards, and the environment is more to the left. That's how I see, regardless of whether we are talking Saudi Arabia or North Korea. Is this controversial as a way to categorize approaches to trade deals? 

quizzical

bekayne wrote:
swallow wrote:
The Conservatives were far more critical of China for most of their time in power, actually, I've linked in the past to human rights advocates saying the Cons have always been better on pressuring China on human rights than the Liberals. Jason Kenney used to come to protest rallies and speak favourably of Olivia Chow, while both criticized the Liberals for being too cozy with China. Harper boycotted the Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing. It's only in the later years of the Harper govenrment that they became pro-China. 

So on China, the Trudeau government has positioned itself to the right of the Harper government. 

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/books/2014/11/engaging-china.html]Paul Evans of UBC on "Engaging China"[/url]

So countries that are closer to China are to the "right"?

i would say yup corporatist countries are and there doesn't seem to be anything communist about China anymore. i think they went full circle and are now fascist.

mark_alfred

I really don't know much about trade or international issues.  I find this curious, though.  We need more trade with China?  We need to remove tariffs off of trade with China?  So prices of goods from there can be lower?  I gotta say, it doesn't make much sense to me.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

This is going to be a bad, bad day for Canadian manufacturers of bamboo back-scratchers.

mark_alfred

Uh huh.  There must be something more to it, though.  It mentioned "buying real-estate abroad".  I've heard in the news that some wealthy Chinese buy and flip houses, particularly in Vancouver.  I don't know how a trade deal could affect that, though.

quizzical

shit i just lost a long post to you mark alfred grrr

mark_alfred

Oh.  I'm sorry to hear that.  I think.  Unless I've committed some sort of faux pas, which I'm known to do sometimes.

mark_alfred

Glad to hear it helped your business.

quizzical

it was about Canada Post subsidizing  postage for China, as a developing nation status, which has led to ebay and average Chinese people making money. how it's changing and what implications are imv re China  freetrade agreements.

the cheap postage for China helped my biz huge.

 

 

quizzical

lol my last rendition was not really anything much as i lost heart to re-write the whole and address how confused i feel re freetrade with China considering their shitty labour, environment, well just about everything they do, standards, and i don't think they should have a right to force their will on us.

the USA has never LOST a NAFTA challenge, you gotta know it's rigged in their favour odds are against 100% anything all the time every time, and continue to exploit us huge, why would we think China would be any different?

Sean in Ottawa

quizzical wrote:

lol my last rendition was not really anything much as i lost heart to re-write the whole and address how confused i feel re freetrade with China considering their shitty labour, environment, well just about everything they do, standards, and i don't think they should have a right to force their will on us.

the USA has never LOST a NAFTA challenge, you gotta know it's rigged in their favour odds are against 100% anything all the time every time, and continue to exploit us huge, why would we think China would be any different?

Certainly power suggests they would not.

Interesting they subsidized China sales. That pisses me off actually -- I was a book publisher and we took a 400% increase in the cost of shipping books in one month and they did not care what it would do. This was in the early 90s. The next year we got a tax on books for the first time.

Why wouldn't we subsidize Canadian cottage industry on shipping costs rather than the shipper?

quizzical

when i looked into it to see why shipping was so cheap from China and India, as its where i bought from, i was told all developing nations got basically free shipping to Canada but China's and India's status as developing nations was running out and postage would be increasing.

i can't remember when it's running out as it hasn't yet. i still get cheap postage orders from China. haven't ordered anything from India recently so i'm not sure there.

i guess your increase paid for their free shipping.

Sean in Ottawa

quizzical wrote:

when i looked into it to see why shipping was so cheap from China and India, as its where i bought from, i was told all developing nations got basically free shipping to Canada but China's and India's status as developing nations was running out and postage would be increasing.

i can't remember when it's running out as it hasn't yet. i still get cheap postage orders from China. haven't ordered anything from India recently so i'm not sure there.

i guess your increase paid for their free shipping.

Perhaps, we struggled until the year 2000 and then gave up. We were not subsidizing just them though. We were subsidizing our domestic competitors (who had other government subsidies as well) and the largest stores.

This is undeniable when you consider that larger volume mailers were getting rates less than a quarter of what we had to pay and it is a fact that Canada Post was not making a 400% profit. Therefore they were charging a lot more than their cost to us and a lot less than their cost to larger entities we were competing with.

There are no individual economies of scal when it comes to the post office due to its hub network. When we shipped books we drove them to the post office consolidated for mailing in large quantity -- we just did not mail out as often. Since shipping goes into the system en masse and is delivered in piece there is little difference in the cost to manage a larger volume mailler vs a smaller one. Canada Post admitted this to me in meetings I had advocating for less punitive rates in 1993.

This attitude has served to damage the post office severely by doing this they have either sent away or put out of business much of a market that they had been serving profitably and replaced it with one that demanded subsidies. They bled money for two decades after they put many book publishers out of business.

quizzical

it all indicates to me our successive Liberal and Consevative governments only support  corporate structures and small biz be damned.

i don't get why small biz belongs to things like CoC. even the CFIB is co-opted imv. some of the stuff coming out of their mouths i can't see reflected in small biz models.

NDPP

Just posted a big interview CTV did with Chrystia Freeland to the tpp thread. It deals also with 'free trade' with China and India and will be worth a look for those interested..

Sean in Ottawa

quizzical wrote:

it all indicates to me our successive Liberal and Consevative governments only support  corporate structures and small biz be damned.

i don't get why small biz belongs to things like CoC. even the CFIB is co-opted imv. some of the stuff coming out of their mouths i can't see reflected in small biz models.

The problem with the word small business is that it is another word like middle class.

Middle class is defined so far up to the top (now up to the 1%) that any policy will cater to the top and the government uses the term to actually make the real middle invisible. Those at the median income in Canada do not exist as far as the government or poliical parties are concerned, even though that's where most of us are. Once in a while there is a policy or bread crumbs dropped for the lowest income levels; some money is given to the top to stimulate they say; and the middle is defined so high that the real middle does not even have a word left to call itself.

Small business is the same -- the definition of small business is so broad that those we might really think of as small business owners are effectively silenced and shut out of all policy and discussion. An entity that perhaps manages a half a million dollars in sales with a profit of $100,000 distributed among a couple partners, or those starting out with perhaps $100,000 in sales still trying to break even are what many might think of as small business.The government considers a business with fewer than 100 employees to be a small business.

The reality is a busineness with half a million in PROFIT off of potentially millions in sales and millions in accumulated assets is considered to be a small business. Businesses in this range speak for small business silencing the truly small businesses with whom they have almost nothing in common. Just like the middle class defined as $90,000 -$200,000 (those who get the maximum small business tax cut) have little in common with the median income with is still $35,000 to $45,000 yet they silence them. Middle income may actually be defined as $30k to$75k if you want a wider definition. Of course this means that the middle class tax cut maximum does not even kick in at the top and the bottom 1/4 do not get anything. The middle half might get a few dollars at most.

Canada has no start-up business policy and no policy for businesses who are truly small. In the meantime the present "small business associations" want to grow the upper threshold so they may retain the tax credit as they grow.

Mulcair's small busineness tax policy is uninformed and insane. It is only slightly worse than the others.

What we need is a new definition of really small business and some policies for them. I ran a couple small businesses and my concerns were not about how much tax I would pay on my profit. I just wanted to get my head above water. The government offers nothing to help these people and there are many of them around today.

This is an age-old government tactic -- to define someone out of existance in order to ignore them. This is what has happened to the middle income earners (and even lower income earners as we redefine what is the middle to be lower) and the small businesses.

mark_alfred

NDPP wrote:

Just posted a big interview CTV did with Chrystia Freeland to the tpp thread. It deals also with 'free trade' with China and India and will be worth a look for those interested..

Hmm.  "Signing it (TPP) is just a technical step."  She did back away when the reporter asked if signing it then was a foregone conclusion -- "oh no, there will be debate and consultations first."  Regardless, I get the feeling they're intent on passing it.  I can't recall what she said about China, since I started to fade while listening to it.

quizzical

Sean, small biz to me is under 20 employees with the owner working right along with their employees. making modest profits and not gouging employees to "live better".

20-50 is a medium biz looking to grow or sell, or it's a franchise biz.

50-100 is a small corporation looking to make profits off their employees or to sell out and make a good deal.

i don't get why we subsidize mail for developing nations other than to have corporations there exporting cheap products here by shipping cheaply and maximizing their profits.

there should be subsidies for small biz here shipping across or outside of Canada.

Sean in Ottawa

quizzical wrote:

Sean, small biz to me is under 20 employees with the owner working right along with their employees. making modest profits and not gouging employees to "live better".

20-50 is a medium biz looking to grow or sell, or it's a franchise biz.

50-100 is a small corporation looking to make profits off their employees or to sell out and make a good deal.

i don't get why we subsidize mail for developing nations other than to have corporations there exporting cheap products here by shipping cheaply and maximizing their profits.

there should be subsidies for small biz here shipping across or outside of Canada.

I agree with all that and I accept your numebrs quite well.

I am not so sure about subsidies -- Canadians also use the post office for personal activities and a subsidy for business means an additional cost for the public. I think when I was a book publisher that books shoudl have paid near cost -- I never asked for a subsidy but I resented having to pay extra to subsidize someone else's subsidy.

I also think the post office blew it -- the small mailers they clipped so much either went out of business or found other ways of working. In the end the Post Office lost the business and I don't think they made up for it by selling services at a loss to bigger mailers. Grossly incompetent both from a public responsibility point of view AND a business point of view. They killed the operation and are going back to individual Canadians to make them pay == or lose services. They still deliver admail below cost  in order to get business volume.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

quizzical wrote:

Sean, small biz to me is under 20 employees with the owner working right along with their employees. making modest profits and not gouging employees to "live better".

20-50 is a medium biz looking to grow or sell, or it's a franchise biz.

50-100 is a small corporation looking to make profits off their employees or to sell out and make a good deal.

I have been self employed, or a partner in various small businesses, for my entire career. I provided first legal services, then later IT consulting and software development, for a good number of businesses of all sizes. My experience matches your definitions very well. I am also well aware, after spending endless hours preparing business plans for various government "small business" programs, that there is no help available at all for truly small, especially startup businesses.

Sean in Ottawa

Michael Moriarity wrote:

quizzical wrote:

Sean, small biz to me is under 20 employees with the owner working right along with their employees. making modest profits and not gouging employees to "live better".

20-50 is a medium biz looking to grow or sell, or it's a franchise biz.

50-100 is a small corporation looking to make profits off their employees or to sell out and make a good deal.

I have been self employed, or a partner in various small businesses, for my entire career. I provided first legal services, then later IT consulting and software development, for a good number of businesses of all sizes. My experience matches your definitions very well. I am also well aware, after spending endless hours preparing business plans for various government "small business" programs, that there is no help available at all for truly small, especially startup businesses.

As I say the government definition of small business is designed to make truly small business invisible and voiceless.

I have been involved in graphics, publishing, PR and legal services small businesses.

Just like the "middle class" definition is designed to make the "middle income" people invisible and voiceless.

mmphosis