Friday, February 6, 2009

U.S Protectionist? Surely you jest.

Amidst my general state of confusion brought about from working five days and attending 7 hours of classes on the other two days, I have, from time to time actually peered out through my virtual window to see what is going on in the world.  Nothing there, time to shut the blinds.  Joking.  Actually, I've been watching the developments on the Buy American thing and the fear that it has created in Canada and in the U.S (among those who believe free markets are good) and I have to just say that a great deal of fuss is being made over something we already should know.  The U.S is going back to protectionism with stuff like Buy American.  It already is protectionist.

Wasn't it just a few years ago that Canadian companies challenged the U.S over something to do with wood and repeatedly lost? Wasn't NAFTA simply a tool to throw upon the Canadian market and get rid of the Canadian advantage in certain industries?  Canadian generic medication comes to one is is in favour of generic drugs, that's been one aspect of NAFTA I've been against.  Hasn't the U.S also used NAFTA to flood the Mexican market with grain?  Yes, all of this happened before the recent Buy American thing and all of it happened before the U.S supposedly "went back" to protectionism.

Dear reader, the U.S is protectionist.  It likes institutions like the World Bank and the IMF because they allow the U.S and friends to ride roughshod over the likes of the developing world.  They use international institutions and agencies to their own advantage.  They ignore international bodies when those same bodies do not create an advantage for them.  This is nothing new.  

I'm not against free trade deals in principle, but are deals like NAFTA worthy of the title "free"?  Are the instruments of Western domination (IMF, WB, WTO) really creating free and open markets or are they just perpetuating G8 hegemoney?  I argue the latter.  

So, when all is said and done, Barack Obama gets too look like a fighter.  Doris Day and Stephanie Harper get to look like real Canadian heroes and the rest is business as usual.  

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