Postby Oscar » Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:52 am

To: Breitkreuz, G. MP ; Fed. For. Affairs Min. Bernier ; Fed. Trade Min. Emerson ; Prime Minister Harper

Cc: Duceppe, G. Bloc ; Dion, S. LIB ; CCPA ; Council of Cdns ; CSMonitor Environment ; David Suzuki Foundation ; ECOJustice ; Esprit de Corps ; Fogal, C. CAP ; ; Greenpeace Canada ; Julian, P. MP ; Layton, J. NDP ; May, E. GPC ; McDonaugh, A. NDP ; Pembina Institute ; Polaris Institute ; Sierra Club - Can. ; Sierra Club - US ; The Real News

Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2008 9:46 AM

Subject: Comment: ANGUS REID ---Canadians Feel U.S. Has Benefited the Most from the NAFTA

Begin forwarded message (with author's permission). Editor


----- Original Message -----

From: Jacob Rempel
Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2008 8:04 PM
Subject: Benefits of NAFTA

My comments below the Angus Reid poll results

…Jacob Rempel, Vancouver


ANGUS REID ---Canadians Feel U.S. Has Benefited the Most from the NAFTA; Two-in-five Would Renegotiate

The majority of respondents want to stay in the trade agreement, whether under current terms or after a renegotiation.

Fourteen years after Canada, the United States and Mexico formed the world's largest free trade area, the majority of Canadians think their country has not greatly benefited from the pact. In an Angus Reid Strategies online survey of a national representative sample, 51 per cent of respondents think the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has mostly benefited the United States, while 22 per cent think the accord has been better for Mexico. Only eight per cent of respondents think Canada has secured the most positive results out of the three countries from being a NAFTA partner.

Read more: ... /NAFTA.pdf


Dear Angus Reid:

I have generally well-informed layman opinions about NAFTA benefits, and write a few comments about NAFTA benefits which are the subject of the AngusReid opinion poll noted above.

1.) The opinion poll avoids critical questions about benefits for Canadians. The simple question about benefits for “all” Canada makes the poll respondents recall the usual pro-NAFTA macro-information about massive increase in cross border trade in Canada’s favour, much of which is an increase in oil exports which would have happened anyway, and an increase in sale of auto parts, etc., which was really a result of lower values of the Canadian dollar.

Certain people such as investors and senior employees in certain resource and manufacturing industries may well have benefited in Canada and in the United States.

2.) However, I question whether wage incomes of factory and service workers, incomes of small businesses and family farms have improved, and levels of funding for schools, health services, social programs, community amenities and other public services have benefited from FTA/NAFTA in either country.

I’m certain that in answer to these questions, well-informed opinion has a negative evaluation of the benefits of NAFTA and related policies for most Canadians, as distinct from the smaller number of Canadians involved in certain large investments.

3.) And of course, Angus Reid never asked about the negatives of losing independence in domestic and foreign policy as a result of the NAFTA and related deeper integration trends. We have signed away control of energy and other natural resources, and our independence to shift industry into more sustainable and less wasteful product priorities.

4.) As well, Canada is now deeply involved in military industry and even war on behalf of USA foreign policy and their war industry. This is not a benefit for Canada either.

5.) As well, NAFTA has hurt Canada with the loss of major corporation head offices and R&D as FIRA became in-operative, and crown corporations were privatized. NAFTA came in con-currently with a general ideological shift against public services and public ownership and regulation to favour mega-corporation ownership and political influence as political economic doctrines shifted away from John Keynes and John Kenneth Galbraith to Friedrick Hayek and Milton Freidman as the gurus for corporate and government elites.

I hope that opinion pollsters will explore economic and political realities in more significant detail. The single macro economic statistic about increased trade, quoted endlessly by Tom D’Aquino and his CEO buddies and their acolytes, just does not cut it with me. Never did.

P.S. Now the “Security and Prosperity Partnership” is consolidating a deeper continental integration of the Canada-USA military/industrial/cultural political economy. Has the eagle landed and nested?

…Jacob Rempel, Vancouver
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