For a long time, we have been under the sway of the globalist economic ideology. It declares that globalization is always good, and what benefits multi-national corporations and big banks will benefit everyone.
It has encouraged countries to allow local industries to be decimated, and flooded with goods from countries that don’t play by the rules (China).
It has eroded the manufacturing base of countless nations, crushing the middle class and concentrating wealth to an unprecedented degree.
We are told globalism is the only possible path to prosperity. And yet, globalism is not how our societies became wealthy in the first place.
Consider what George Friedman, Chairman of the Geopolitical Futures publication had to say about how the US Economy grew:
“The U.S. developed its economy from the 1870s to 1900, the world’s largest manufacturing economy, all as a protectionist country. There’s a kind of whacked out thinking that protectionism is going to cause economic dysfunction. What is novel is the idea of free trade, which since 2008 hasn’t distributed wealth broadly.”
Friedman’s words are worth considering for Canada as well. We have a productive and knowledgable population. We have abundant resources, and a high level of technology. The idea that total free trade is the only way we can prosper simply doesn’t make sense.
We can benefit from trade with some countries, while protecting ourselves from other countries. Nations such as the United States, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan – among many others – generally play by the rules when it comes to trade.
Other nations, particularly China, do not play by the rules, so we should consider imposing tariffs on products from those countries that seek to take advantage of our openness.
It is essential that we protect our economy by protecting well-paying jobs for Canadians.
And when we do sign trade deals, we should set clear conditions ensuring the protection of our sovereignty – never allowing foreign courts to have control over our choices like the dangerous CETA deal. And, we should focus on individual deals with select countries, ensuring maximum benefit for Canada.
We don’t have to choose between protecting our economy and expanding prosperity. We can, and must, achieve both.