Stelco CEO claims bad Free Trade deal hurting Canada

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Steve Ranta

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Jun 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/16/96
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Fred Telmer, head of Stelco, has criticised the FTA and NAFTA agreements
for their inadequate dispute resolution mechanisms.

Telmer expressed concerns that Canada is losing jobs and its tax base
because of the unfair situation in which Canada is wide open to U.S.
exports while the U.S. limits imports from Canada in order to protect its
own industries.

Speaking on CBC Radio Sunday Morning, he called the dispute resolution
mechanism a patchwork that was thrown together in the understanding that
it would be refined and completed later. This refinement and completion
has never occurred.

As a result, the U.S. is able to use costly legal strategies to limit
imports and opportunities for Canadian firms to export into the United
States.

Stelco has reduced its exports into the U.S. from 35% of its production
three years ago, to only 20% in 1996 as a result of U.S. obstructions.
Telmer claimed that the Americans spent $100 million on legal fees in 1993
that dispute alone.

He also cited the example of softwood lumber exports, in which continual
harassment by American legal challenges has resulted in Canada finally
accepting a quota system for its wood exports which is totally against the
spirit and purpose of the FTA.

Telmer said that it is a real concern that there is not a level playing
field. He said that results have been even worse for smaller Canadians
firms who have been frustrated in their attempts to enter the U.S.
market. Many have simply closed down or moved to the U.S.

He blamed the Mulroney government, and the corporations who backed the
FTA, for refusing to criticise the original deal in their eagerness to
promote the idea of Free Trade to the public.

He called on politicians, the Canadian government, and Canadian industries
to publicly acknowledge that there are serious problems resulting from the
incomplete dispute resolution mechanism in the FTA and NAFTA.

--
Steve Ranta

Steve Ranta

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Jun 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/18/96
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In article <4q723r$3u...@news-s01.ny.us.ibm.net>, Damon Cox
<rob...@sympatico.ca> wrote:

> But would not the situation be even worse without the FTA and NAFTA?
> Since Canada's exports overall to the US are up considerably, we have to
> consider the free trade agreements beneficial in most sectors. . . .

If exports are up, it just shows that increasing exports is not
necessarily good for the economy, especially if it involves shutting down
domestic producers. Canada's real GDP per person has still not recovered
to its 1989 level.

. . .
> Canada no longer has any credible defence forces. Was it Chretien's
> decision for Canadians to take over from withdrawing American troops
> from Haiti, or was it Clinton's? We used to criticize Mulroney for
> toadying to the Americans, but my God this is now far worse with
> Chretien.

I agree.

. . . Gradually most Canadians would come to the realization that
> North Ameican would be better off as one country that works. . . .

Except that it might work like the U.S. and Mexico work, which is not as
well as Canada.

--
Steve Ranta

Damon Cox

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Jun 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/18/96
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But would not the situation be even worse without the FTA and NAFTA?
Since Canada's exports overall to the US are up considerably, we have to
consider the free trade agreements beneficial in most sectors. We must
face the painful truth now that Canada's economy is a hostage to U.S.
trade. We would be an economic basket case without it.

This is one worrisome development-- the
relentless and increasing Americanization of Canada. Both CP and CN
have been increasing their north-south traffic while wanting to abandon
east-west lines. Both Air Canada and Canadian Airlines are now partly
owned (and controlled) by American and United respectively. With the
open skies agreement, how long can they survive? American communication
companties ATT, MCI and Sprint are now very active and expanding
operations in Canada. Canada is becoming more and more a banana
republic of the U.S.

Our nation, because of its huge government debt, both federal and
provincial,
held by Americans, is really in hock to Wall Street. Any big financial
and economic moves now made by Ottawa and the provinces pretty well
have to be okayed by the U.S. The value of the loonie is determined
by American investors and financial markets.

Canada no longer has any credible defence forces. Was it Chretien's
decision for Canadians to take over from withdrawing American troops
from Haiti, or was it Clinton's? We used to criticize Mulroney for
toadying to the Americans, but my God this is now far worse with
Chretien.

Maybe it is time for Canada to give up its pretense on being an
independednt nation. Perhaps we should be thinking of amalgamation with,
actually absorption by, the U.S. This process could be started by
Alberta or Ontario approaching the U.S. government, explaining to
Congress and the Executive branch that Canada is no longer working as
a nation. Gradually most Canadians would come to the realization that

Nicholas Sidor

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Jun 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/19/96
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Damon Cox <rob...@sympatico.ca> wrote:

> We mustface the painful truth now that Canada's economy is a hostage to U.S.


>trade. We would be an economic basket case without it.

Here's a newser, Mr. Cox. It's been that way for quite some time.

>Our nation, because of its huge government debt, both federal and
>provincial, held by Americans, is really in hock to Wall Street.

That is so much crapola. Most of the debt is held by Canadians.
Besides, Wall Street has **never** given anything but the strongest
credit rating to Canadian debt.

>Maybe it is time for Canada to give up its pretense on being an
>independednt nation. Perhaps we should be thinking of amalgamation with,
>actually absorption by, the U.S. This process could be started by
>Alberta or Ontario approaching the U.S. government, explaining to
>Congress and the Executive branch that Canada is no longer working as
>a nation. Gradually most Canadians would come to the realization that
>North Ameican would be better off as one country that works.

And Mr. Cox slips slowly off his rocker....obviously under the
misapprehension that the US "works" as a nation.... Didn't I read
somewhere that they're blowing each other up? That they incarcerate
the highest proportion of their citizens of *any* nation on the
planet? And perhaps, that they have something of urban decay, crime,
race and poverty problems...

Just wondering,

nick


Nick Sidor
nsi...@magi.com


Georges Skorpios

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Jun 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/19/96
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sra...@macwest.org (Steve Ranta) wrote:
>
> In article <4q723r$3u...@news-s01.ny.us.ibm.net>, Damon Cox
> <rob...@sympatico.ca> wrote:
>
> > But would not the situation be even worse without the FTA and NAFTA?
> > Since Canada's exports overall to the US are up considerably, we have to
> > consider the free trade agreements beneficial in most sectors. . . .
>
> If exports are up, it just shows that increasing exports is not
> necessarily good for the economy, especially if it involves shutting down
> domestic producers. Canada's real GDP per person has still not recovered
> to its 1989 level.
>
> But the Canadian companies that are successful exporters show that
they are competive in the world economy i.e. is they are doing
it without government subsidies.

> The domestic producers in Canada that have shut down were
obviously not competitive. We should not lament their demise.
Canada, unlike the U.S., is still in the economic recession
which began in 1990. High taxation is the cause of this. Without
out our exports to the US it would be a depression.


> .. . .

> > Canada no longer has any credible defence forces. Was it Chretien's
> > decision for Canadians to take over from withdrawing American troops
> > from Haiti, or was it Clinton's? We used to criticize Mulroney for
> > toadying to the Americans, but my God this is now far worse with
> > Chretien.
>

> I agree.
>
> .. . . Gradually most Canadians would come to the realization that


> > North Ameican would be better off as one country that works. . . .
>
> Except that it might work like the U.S. and Mexico work, which is not as
> well as Canada.

>How can you say that the U.S. is not working when it is first in
world economic productivity and the world's leading exporter?

If the inner cities and areas of urban decay were not counted in the
U.S. that nation's crime rate would be no worse than Canada's.
Moreover, cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver in Canada are
only a few years behind their American counterparts in crime and
urban decay.

>Crime could be reduced drastically in the U.S. if government
there would
start executing hard-core criminals, not just first-degree
murderers (an absurd distinction anyway) by the hundreds instead
of the token few every year.
>
> --
> Steve Ranta


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