Thursday, July 31, 2008

Most Canadians Think NAFTA is a Bad Deal for Canada

In an Angus Reid Poll that the mainstream media has seemed to ignore, the glaring answer to the age old question becomes apparent. h/t to my friend Grant Orchard for this one.

Dear Friends,

Below is a July 22/08 Angus Reid Strategies poll that's quite sensational in what it reveals about what Canadians think about NAFTA: (be sure to click on the pdf link on the page for all the polling data).

Here are some of the results — from a representative poll by one of Canada's most respected polling firms:

• Only 7% of Canadians asked believe Canada has been the main beneficiary of NAFTA (only 3% of the women asked believe it).

• A clear majority of Canadians see the U.S. (46%) and Mexico (30%) as the countries that benefited the most and 17% are not sure.

• More than half, 52%, think that Canada should do whatever is necessary to renegotiate the terms of NAFTA and 11% think that Canada should do whatever is necessary to leave NAFTA.

• 56% of those who intend to vote Liberal in the next election think that NAFTA should be renegotiated. (And, interestingly, 52% of Conservative and Bloc supporters think so too.)

Not surprisingly, this poll has received scant attention in the media, so please forward far and wide!

20 comments:

The Right is Where it's At said...

What is your take on NAFTA Mr. Curran? Personally I think its great for us. Now if you want perfection well we will never ever get it. You give some and you get some its called negotiation. This is the best I think that we will get.

James Curran said...

What do I think? Since when did that ever matter?

My two cents?

NAFTA was designed by the Americans for the Americans. In paricular, to allow the take over of our natural resource industry. Which they have done to perfection.

wilson said...

If it's a bad deal for Canada, why did Chretien sign it?
He said he wouldn't,
then once elected PM,
he signed it, committing Canada to the trade deal.

James Curran said...

What's your point? Why did Mulroney make the deal in the first place?

That was then, this is now. Try living in the present for a day.

You obviously think foreign ownership of all our rsources are a good idea.

Lizt. said...

I read that water was not put in the Free Trade. Why was it left off? I worry about our Great Lakes

The Right is Where it's At said...

"What do I think? Since when did that ever matter?"

First if I thought that your opinion did not matter I would have not ask for it,now would I?

Secondly I don't buy the notion that NAFTA was designed by the Americans for the Americans. In particular, to allow the take over of our natural resource industry.

If that was true why would president hopeful Mr.Baraka Obama let out in his campaign that he wanted to renegotiate NAFTA? I think that he is a very smart man don't you think so?

Ever since NAFTA came into law we have been having a trade surplus with our partners in particular with the U.S. for much of the time. Our economy has gotten stronger because of it or at least its one of the reason.

As I said before,it is not perfect when you negotiate you never get everything you want. Even more so when you negotiate with 2 other countries.

James Curran said...

Let's talk about the auto sector than shall we.

Maquiladoras - (Mexican factories which take in imported raw materials and produce goods for export) have become the landmark of trade in Mexico. These are plants that moved to this region from the United States, hence the debate over the loss of American jobs. Hufbauer's (2005) book shows that income in the maquiladora sector has increased 15.5% since the implementation of NAFTA in 1994. Other sectors now benefit from the free trade agreement, and the share of exports from non-border states has increased in the last five years while the share of exports from maquiladora-border states has decreased. This phenomenon has allowed for the rapid growth of non-border metropolitan areas, such as Toluca, León and Puebla; all three larger in population than Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez, and Reynosa. The main non-maquiladora industry that has benefited from NAFTA is the automobile industry.

James Curran said...

There is some concern in Canada over the provision that if something is sold even once as a commodity, the government cannot stop its sale in the future. This applies to the water from Canada's lakes and rivers, fueling fears over the possible destruction of Canadian ecosystems and water supply.

Lizt. said...

and I thought mMlroney was very worried about the environment

The Right is Where it's At said...

Mr.Curran what would you propose that our partners in NAFTA would agree to? I hope that you're not saying we shouldn't have free trade.We are a country of only 30 million people.We have no choice but to trade with others.

Mexico was a third world country when this agreement was negotiated.It is still a third world today. Just look at our economy and compare it with the U.S.of today. Don't you think that we have benefited from NAFTA? Come on please.

I used to work for a company here in Montreal.If it wasn't for NAFTA thousands of people would have lost their jobs almost over night.

Again Mr.Curran what agreement would you propose that other countries would be able to except,and why would they agree to it?

James Curran said...

Who cares wht the other countries want to accept. Let's worry about Canada for a change. How about taking back our natural resources? Wouldn't that be nice?

Or should we go through shit like this:

Other fears come from the effects NAFTA has had on Canadian lawmaking. In 1996, MMT, a gasoline additive, was brought into Canada by an American company. At the time, the Canadian federal government banned the importation of the additive. The American company brought a claim under NAFTA Chapter 11 seeking US $201 million, and by Canadian Provinces under the Agreement on Internal Trade ("AIT"). The American company argued that their additive had not been conclusively linked to any health dangers, and that the prohibition was damaging to their company. Following a finding that the ban was a violation of the AIT, the Canadian federal government repealed the ban and settled with the American company for US $13 million. Studies by Health and Welfare Canada (now Health Canada), on the health effects of MMT in fuel found no significant health effects associated with exposure to these exhaust emissions. Other Canadian researchers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency disagree with Health Canada and cite studies that include possible nerve damage.

I'm not sure how NAFTA saved Montreal jobs. I have no idea what you're alluding to.

The Right is Where it's At said...

"Who cares wht the other countries want to accept. Let's worry about Canada for a change. How about taking back our natural resources? Wouldn't that be nice?"

Sure I want what's good for Canada also. But we have a reality here,that is we need to negotiate with others too. How are we ever going to have any a kind of deal with other countries if we don't take into account what they are asking from us? We will never ever have any international deals this way,and we would be left out in the cold.

How can we have the kind of deal that you're looking for with other countries when we have problems trading within our own country?

"I'm not sure how NAFTA saved Montreal jobs. I have no idea what you're alluding to."

I will not mention the name of the company,but what I could tell you is that this company exported a lot of goods to the U.S. and NAFTA was the main reason for this. Without NAFTA the company would have been in trouble. Why you ask,because the U.S.market is 300 million people and we don't have another free trade agreement with 300 million people market.

James Curran said...

China has 1.3 billion. India another billion. The world has changed my friend. It's a lot smaller. The internet and other communications have made it so.

And why is it that the country with the second most oil reserves in the world has to ask its citizens to pay 1.40 a litre while the country they sell most of their oil to pays waaaaay less? Foreign ownership maybe?

The Right is Where it's At said...

"China has 1.3 billion. India another billion. The world has changed my friend. It's a lot smaller. The internet and other communications have made it so."

You're right the world has changed. But do we have any free trade with these two countries? I don't think so. That is not to say we don't trade with them. Just look how many jobs that we have lost to china and India,because of their cheap labor and lower currency. Does the textile business come to mind among others?


" And why is it that the country with the second most oil reserves in the world has to ask its citizens to pay 1.40 a litre while the country they sell most of their oil to pays waaaaay less? Foreign ownership maybe?"

I don't know why. But could it have anything to do with taxes maybe? Why is it that our unemployment rate is the lowest in 30 years? Could it have anything to do with NAFTA maybe?

You know NAFTA as done more good then harm to this country whether you would like to admit it or not.

Since you're a Liberal supporter why isn't anyone from the Liberals demanding that we change NAFTA or eliminate it all together humm? Is it possible that they also agree that NAFTA has been good for our country?

Alex said...

What exactly would it mean for Canada to be the "main" beneficiary of NAFTA? In what sense should we expect to benefit "more" than the US and Mexico?

And should Canadians only support NAFTA if Canada is the "main" beneficiary? The whole point of trade is that it isn't a zerosum game; it makes all trading countries better off. If NAFTA delivered benefits to Canada, but those benefits were in some sense "less" than the benefits that accrued to the US or Mexico, should Canada abandon NAFTA or try to renegotiate it until Canada's benefits exceed the benefits of the other countries?

The questions in the poll are badly posed.

James Curran said...

Perhaps we can start with a Trade agreement that has a dispute resolution system that all the parties adhere to. Perhaps you heard of the Softwood Lumber fiasco, as an example.

And how many of you know that this rotten Goneservative gov't had to pay damages to foreign investors as a result of their income trust flip-flop?

You see, when Americans win suits under dispute resolution, they get paid. When Canadians win, we get an appeal.

James Curran said...

"Just look how many jobs that we have lost to china and India,because of their cheap labor and lower currency."

Um. Does Mexico come to mind. Think auto sector.

"I don't know why. But could it have anything to do with taxes maybe?"

No it couldn't. 0.24 cents a litre goes to taxes. It's a fixed rate. Whether gas goes to $6 a litre or not, that is the tax rate on gas.

Jennifer Smith said...

Who has benefited the most from NAFTA? Why, that would be the multi-national corporations who can now buy materials from the cheapest source, ship them off to the place with the cheapest labour, and then ship the finished goods off to wherever they can get the most money for them - preferably somewhere with lax health and safety standards - and thereby maximize profits for their shareholders.

It's never been about politics, or jobs, or sovereignty. It's always been about profit. The people who designed NAFTA and convinced our respective governments that it would be good for their country don't give a rat's ass about Canadians or Americans or Mexicans.

We simply don't enter into their equation.

The Right is Where it's At said...

"No it couldn't. 0.24 cents a litre goes to taxes. It's a fixed rate. Whether gas goes to $6 a litre or not, that is the tax rate on gas."

There is a lot of factors that may affect the price at the pumps.

1) We are a small market. That means not enough competition.

2)We are also a large country. That means to transport stuff it cost $$$.

3) Maybe we should be looking at price fixing. There was a story about this earlier this summer here in Quebec. I'm sure you must have read it somewhere.

4) Maybe we can change the laws about monopolies make it more strict.

All this said I see that you have your mind made up. You will not convince me or I you so lets leave it at that. Let us agree to disagree.

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