Multilateralism, Tariffs, and Trade Barriers
January 17, 2014
Arctic Sovereignty in the News
“Only Arctic nations should shape the North.” Harper
• Canadian Rangers – Protectors of Canadian sovereignty in the North, with a
team consisting of volunteer native individuals.
• Issue: Harper cannot be aggressive because we don’t have strength or sufficient
protection in the North. He has to protect before initiating policy change…which
he isn’t doing.
• Is he attracting aggression? While we should be affirming our sovereignty, the
methods by which we do this are crucial (will make or break us).
• Proximity to the U.S. = Policymaking mirroring the U.S.
• Canada’s reliance on exports requires us to go beyond the U.S. – we cannot rely
on only the U.S. and internal markets.
• Canada is a middle power – not a benign or impartial international country. It
plays activist roles dependent on the skills, policies, relations, and post
importantly, personalities of our Prime Ministers and foreign affairs ministers.
Stats (2007 – 2012)
• Imports rising while exports decreasing.
• Balance of trade reflects the global financial crisis (specifically the experience of
the U.S.). Pretty consistent with the U.S.our biggest trading partner – we
exported less to them than usual during the crisis. Therefore we need to coexist
with the U.S.
• Evidence of how much NAFTA has benefitted our economy (look at pre1994 to
compare). *See NAFTA link.
Canadian Foreign and Trade Relations
• Multilateralism and Middle Power
o We are one of the establishing states of the GATT, WTO, UN, NATO,
international civil servants, etc.
• Because we are such a tradedependent nation and have such a small population
and economy, our position as price takers affects our political economy as well.
• Following WWII, Canada followed in suit after the U.S. established the GATT
(which was promultilateralism).
o 40% drop in tariffs (fee levied on imports – a protectionist measure; cost
of trade). This was the reduction of trade barriers following WWII.
• Canada realized multilateralism was the best bet against protectionist policies and
trade barriers. • As price takers, we have to join agreements, institutions, etc. in order to survive
and remain as secure as possible.
• We don’t trade with third world countries without oil, because tariffs are high and
it’s not wise or a stable agreement. When it comes to foreign aid, we have to do
so with countries that will help us in return (promise to buy Canadian).
• The GATT became large and complicated. When the U.S. encountered economic
difficulty, it reverted to being protectionist. Canada had to look somewhere el