Something’s missing in the ‘Dutch Disease’ debate…

Philippe Bergevin and Daniel Schwanen , “Boom in services ignored in Dutch Disease debate,” Ottawa Citizen (May 31, 2012).  That missing ‘something’ is Canada’s healthy, vibrant services sector. Bergevin and Schwanen argue that “by simplistically pitting the manufacturing sector against the resource extraction sector, the “Dutch Disease” argument entirely overlooks a fundamental and growing part of Canada’s economy”. In fact, during the recent great recession when Canada’s dollar was at its peak and our trade balance in industrial goods and commodities fell, the country ran a surplus in commercial services. By all accounts, Canada’s strength in services is the sign of a healthy economy.

Putting the Pieces Together: What Global Value Chains mean for Canada

Ari Van Assche,  “Global Value Chains and Canada’s Trade Policy: Business as Usual or Paradigm Shift?” Institute for Research on Public Policy (June 2012). Canadians needs to fundamentally shift the way we think about trade policy as global production becomes more and more fragmented. For policy-makers, this means trade policies that integrate Canadian companies into global value chains. Reducing regulatory bottlenecks, improving transportation infrastructure and implementing education policies that create a highly skilled labour market are essential to improving the ability of Canadian firms to compete in high-value-added activities.

A Willing Buyer, A Willing Seller, and A Lot of Uncertainty

Asia Pacific Foundation, “Securing Canada’s Energy Future” (June 2012). In this report the Canada-Asia Energy Futures Task Force, argues that Canada needs Asia in order to secure future demand for its resources. It seems simple, but the future of energy relations between Canada and Asia is rife with uncertainty, not the least of which are Canada’s domestic impediments in getting our energy products to market. The Task Force puts forth a provocative framework for engagement that includes the development of a public energy transportation corridor regulated by governments and operated by the private sector.

Canola versus cows, continued…

Michael Gifford,  “Golden Opportunities and Surmountable Challenges: Prospects for Canadian Agriculture in AsiaCanadian Council of Chief Executives (April 2012). Asian demand for agricultural products is growing rapidly, as population growth outstrips domestic production capacity. Canada is well-positioned as a net agri-food exporter to meet some of this demand. Canada’s ability to gain access to Asian markets is contingent on trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In order for our competitive agricultural exports, which include oilseeds, pulses, pork and beef, to succeed in new markets, Canada will have to provide reciprocal access, i.e.  at least a partial liberalization of dairy and poultry sectors is  necessary to ensure participation in future trade negotiations.