Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Here are a few things that caught my attention today:

1. TD Economist Don Drummond has written “The Economist's Manifesto for Curing Ailing Canadian Productivity.” He says that most economists can agree what needs to be done to boost productivity in Canada, but “poor communication or marketing may be to blame.”
One problem, says Drummond, is that “...governments and business groups tend to speak of prosperity rather than using the word productivity.”

2. Neil Reynolds reports on Brian Lee Crowley's vision of "Atlantica." I'll have to read more on this, but from my cursory reading it sounds a bit like Robert Mundell's vision of optimum currency areas shared by the U.S. and Canada. Part of Mundell's proposal was that an exchange rate be shared between the two countries where the industries are alike. So, the Atlantic region of each country would share an exchange rate. It's an interesting concept if we could ever overcome political factors.

3. CAW says a new free trade deal with Korea will only harm Canada.
Excerpt from The Toronto Star:

Canada would lose more than 33,000 manufacturing jobs, including 4,000 in the auto sector, under a free trade deal with Korea, according to a union report. The Canadian Auto Workers union says Canada's history in most trade agreements with other countries shows it has been a net loser, and it will be no different with Korea.
"The past experience of Canada's five previous free trade agreements ... suggests that Canada's imports will grow substantially faster than our exports in the wake of a free trade agreement, making the resulting deterioration in the trade balance and consequent job loss much worse," the CAW report said...

"The demonstrated experience of past trade liberalization initiatives - both the free trade agreements which Canada has implemented with other countries and the limited impact of tariff liberalization on trade patterns into East Asia - indicate clearly that North American Free Trade Agreement-style (agreements) will only exacerbate the problem," the report said.

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