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POLI 243 (70)
Chapter 15

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Political Science
POLI 243
Mark Brawley

Chapter 15: the Reciprocity Election in Canada, 1911 - Sir Wilfred Laurier: offered Canadians a chance to liberalize trade w/ the US which was thought to be popular even by the opposing Tories, however they lost - Looking back: National Policy which popularized protectionist tariffs led the Tories to victory for 20 years and continued victory for the Liberals who adopted this policy but changed smaller segments of it System-Level Factors: Opportunity to Liberalize Trade - 1: trends in tariffs were mixed - 2: US seemed ready to negotiate liberalized trade - 3: Canada was redefining its links to Britain just as Britain was questioning its own commitment to free trade - Tariffs were upward moving in most countries from 1870s to end of 19 century and were more complex than before (targeting ever more specific goods and including a greater range of items) - Countries had various schedules or levels of tariffs, giving favourable treatment to goods of those who would give favourable treatment to their exports - Reciprocity: tool to help countries ensure they could negotiate lower tariffs - Makes this situation more confusing as economically it was the right time for trade liberalization - But even as economy peaked in Canada, it took a downward spiral and free trade support waned thus Tories could launch a counter attack - Canadians presented w/ difficult choices concerning opportunities in international economy due to growing complexities in tariff rates and levels - Canada had choice of becoming closer to US or Britain but Britain’s Chamberlain had tariff reforms that would open trade to many countries so Laurier would consider closer ties w/ US - Treaty negotiated by 1911 was broad between Canada and the US - It seemed as though Canada would be moving away from the National Policy Domestic Level Arguments: Shifting Support for Protection - Laurier of the Liberals wanted to call an immediate election though they warned him otherwise - Laurier offered larger markets as a campaign slogan and following S-S theorem, Canada’s land, labour and capital made agricultural interest the natural base for trade liberalization - Agricultural discontent was at an all-time high b/c of things that hurt the crop yield - Canadian Council of Agriculture was formed to voice complaints under old National Policy; supporters of reciprocity were better organized than ever before - Farmers out west grew wheat (labour-intensive); but those in central provinces were into more capital-intensive dairy products - Refrigerating technology improved so that milk could be shipped short distances thus trade liberalization was good for central provinces’ farmers - While SS model would say that landowners aka farmers should be in support of free trade b/c they were the ones with the most abundant resources; land owners were divided along sector- based lines - Agriculture was declining as a percentage of GDP and was not matched with rise in industrial output but a rise in service sector - There was also a move from farming to manufacturing as farms turned to cities after National Policy had been implemented - These industries were likely to face stiff competition from US firms, if trade in their products were to be opened up - The Canadian Manufacturer’s Association (CMA): wanted moderate protection for Canadian industries and argu
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