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Martin hints at energy link in regards to softwood lumber.

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20051007/MARTIN07/TPNational/TopStories

PM links softwood dispute to energy

By SHAWN MCCARTHY
Friday, October 7, 2005 Page A1

NEW YORK -- Prime Minister Paul Martin warned Americans yesterday that the Bush administration may be jeopardizing secure access to abundant Canadian energy supplies by undermining NAFTA in the protracted softwood lumber dispute.

And while he complained about the fraying of the North American partnership, the Prime Minister reminded his New York business audience that China and India have an enormous and growing demand for raw materials -- an appetite Canada is happy to feed.

"For us, there is no doubt, China and India represent an exciting new opportunity that we intend to take advantage of."

While he leavened his address with a declaration of undying friendship and shared values, Mr. Martin's tone was blunt, at times even chippy, over the U.S. handling of the softwood controversy.

"Forgive my departure from the safe language of diplomacy, but this is nonsense," he said. "More than that, it's a breach of faith. Countries must live up to their agreements.

"We have to recognize that NAFTA is a framework, not just for the trade of commodities, but for the trade of most goods and services, investment and energy," he said. "And for this to operate smoothly, we have to rely on the dispute-settlement mechanism."

The Prime Minister travelled to New York to deliver an indirect but unmistakable message that the ongoing softwood fight is undermining the Canada-U.S. relationship -- including unfettered energy trade.

Mr. Martin also slammed President George W. Bush's plan to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling, saying the damage to the environment would far outweigh any modest addition to U.S. crude supplies.

The visit yesterday was Mr. Martin's first since becoming Prime Minister, with the exception of trips to the United Nations. He gave a dinner speech to the Economic Club of New York, sat for an interview on CNN and attended a meeting of The Wall Street Journal editorial board.

The Liberal government has been frustrated since August over the refusal of the Bush administration to abide by a NAFTA panel ruling favouring Canada and ordering the return of $5-billion in tariffs collected under U.S. anti-dumping rules.

Yesterday, Mr. Martin sought to ratchet up the pressure on the administration by making a direct appeal to U.S. consumer and business interests, which end up paying high lumber costs as a result of the tariffs.

But on Wall Street these days, the name of Canada conjures images of endless energy supplies. And the Prime Minister sought to capitalize on that interest by making a broader point about fair play between free-trade partners.

Mr. Martin said the U.S. government has undermined the dispute-settlement mechanism of the North American free-trade agreement. That same dispute mechanism, he noted, governs more than just softwood trade, but also trade in energy, where the U.S. is increasingly reliant on Canadian sources.

On CNN, Mr. Martin again appeared to connect the dots between the softwood dispute and energy exports. After complaining about Washington's decision to ignore the NAFTA panel's ruling on softwood, the Prime Minister addressed questions on how Canadian oil sands can help satisfy the U.S. thirst for oil.

"We are your largest single supplier and we are going to continue. We're not going to let the Americans down, but we want to see that partnership work in the widest possible way," he said.

Mr. Martin was walking a fine line with his message. For years, federal and Alberta politicians, and Canadian executives, have journeyed to New York and Washington to promote oil-sands development, which requires massive capital investment, which is often raised on Wall Street.

The Prime Minister spent little time in his speech extolling the potential of the oil sands, except to suggest that the reserves there would be more than adequate to offset any loss of potential production if the U.S. protected the Alaskan refuge.

In his address, and in the questions after posed by Robert Hormats, vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs International, and Rodgin Cohen, of the Wall Street law firm Sullivan & Cromwell, Mr. Martin hammered on the theme of a rapidly changing world, with the rise of China and India as both markets and competitors to the U.S. dominance.

The emergence of such competing powers, he argued, made it essential that Canada, the United States and Mexico enhance their economic position through NAFTA. He noted, however, that the rise of the Asian powers will provide Canada with new markets for raw materials and other exports that have traditionally gone to the United States
you go girl
 

judge wopner

TRIBE Member
like ever other trade dispute in which the US breaks the rules when things dont go in their favour, they will largely ignore the issue, hoping to postpone things long enough to the point where its out of the media and so much damage is dont to our domestic market, pressue is placed on canadian politicians to negotiate.

they will paint canada as some insifinicant ally and openly question the validity of NAFTA hearings.

and whats that comment about our politicains going to wall street to get financing for our exploration of the oil sands?

alot of canadian money went to finance the oil sands, there is a shit load of money in this nation domestically earned and created that further finances mining/nat. resrous procurement. people love to think our wild resources could never be harnessed without american cash. it helps but manyother nations would step in and gladly invest in our oil sands if the US didnt.
 

Big Cheese

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by judge wopner
manyother nations would step in and gladly invest in our oil sands if the US didnt.
don't know too much about this topic but isn't china already doing this?
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
I thought the headline on CBC.ca on the weekend was pretty stupid: "PM accused of hurting free trade". Quoted "business leaders" and some conservative people who said his speech would be damaging to free trade...

WOAH... Back it up. You're saying Martin is damaging free trade by suggesting the US should respect our free trade agreement (NAFTA) and the mechanisms thereof? Does that make any sense!? Isn't Martin supporting free trade by calling attention to the US refusal to abide by NAFTA?

Seems to me business leaders and conservative party hacks should recognize the benefits of playing by the rules - and ensuring our "partners" do the same. That after all, is the true essence of free trade. Putting up subsidies and tarriffs whenever its politically or economically advantageous - thats contrary to free trade... When I saw that stupid headline and read the article I wondered if whoever posted that on the CBC website was able to do it with a straight face..;)
 

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
well, a good portion of Canadian (non-softwood lumber) business currently does very well under NAFTA. They are probably worried about their positions being jeopardized by the lumber debate.

In the long term it would definitely prove better to ensure the agreement is enforced but i'm sure there is also a worry that this will balloon and end up destroying the agreement altogether as well.
 

wayne kenoff

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by praktik
I thought the headline on CBC.ca on the weekend was pretty stupid: "PM accused of hurting free trade". Quoted "business leaders" and some conservative people who said his speech would be damaging to free trade...

WOAH... Back it up. You're saying Martin is damaging free trade by suggesting the US should respect our free trade agreement (NAFTA) and the mechanisms thereof? Does that make any sense!? Isn't Martin supporting free trade by calling attention to the US refusal to abide by NAFTA?

Seems to me business leaders and conservative party hacks should recognize the benefits of playing by the rules - and ensuring our "partners" do the same. That after all, is the true essence of free trade. Putting up subsidies and tarriffs whenever its politically or economically advantageous - thats contrary to free trade... When I saw that stupid headline and read the article I wondered if whoever posted that on the CBC website was able to do it with a straight face..;)
excellent post. i wondered the same thing right after I wondered if I'm taking crazy pills.
 

SonorouS

TRIBE Member
a little update

http://www.canadians.org/display_document.htm?COC_token=23@@a4b42bd56c343de3fce29b95fa268ea3&id=1200&isdoc=1&catid=103

On August 10th, 2005 NAFTA’s Extraordinary Challenge Committee rendered a final decision on the softwood lumber case in favor of Canada. For the umpteenth time, the United States ignored the ruling and refused to comply. A recent poll shows 76 per cent of Canadians are looking for a forceful response. They are waiting for Paul Martin's Liberal government to do something, anything, to defend the interests of Canadians. So far, the Liberals have confused tough talk with tough action.

The Council of Canadians will therefore count the days until the government takes action. If a concrete measure does not materialize, Canadians will be forced to conclude that our government is: ALL TALK and NO ACTION.

THE ACTIONS

None to report

THE TALK

Trade Minister Jim Peterson:

“We fully expect the Americans to abide by the terms of the NAFTA, and that is the rule of law, and that is Canada's position. The rule of law must be respected.â€
“We will pursue all measures including litigation, possible retaliation, and heightened political advocacy.â€
Prime Minister Paul Martin:

“The American position is absolutely untenable. It's unacceptable. The fact is that we won those cases and under the terms of the NAFTA, and under the terms of any kind of agreement, when a panel comes down and makes a decision that should be honoured.â€
“Canada might hit with retaliatory trade tariffs. We canvassed all the options, and in considerable detail.â€
“Forgive my departure from the safe language of diplomacy, but this is nonsense. Countries must live up to their agreements.â€
Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew:

“Canada must choose "selective and strategic" trade measures that would serve as a wake-up call in Washington and spark pressure to settle the dispute with U.S. politicians from states hit by Canadian retaliation.â€
“Any means to get their attention, as far as I'm concerned, would be fair at this time. It is a decision that cabinet must make.â€
Finance Minister Ralph Goodale:

“The government is considering what specific action to take, but wants to send a signal that the United States must comply with the NAFTA panel ruling 'PDQ.'â€
Industry Minister David Emerson:

“I have a background from my younger days in hockey, and when somebody slammed you into the boards with undue force and aggression, you took their number. And I think we've got to take their number.â€
“Canada has to take a stand and we have to make sure our long-term interests are secured and that could involve some short-term pain.â€
Acting Natural Resources Minister John McCallum:

“If Nafta is called into question by U.S. action, it calls for us to diversify our trade and investment relations.â€
Enough talk! The Council of Canadians is demanding that the Minister of International Trade, Jim Peterson, pursue the following actions which are available to him under the terms of NAFTA:

Article 1905 would allow Canada to trigger a bilateral consultation process on the ground that the U.S. is violating the Agreement. A win would give Canada the right to begin withdrawing benefits extended to the U.S. under NAFTA. One such benefit is the investor-state privilege, which allows U.S. corporations to sue the Canadian government if they don't like our laws. Another benefit extended under the deal makes Canada obliged to share its energy resources with the U.S. in times of shortage.

Failing that, the Minister should invoke Article 2205, which states, "A party may withdraw from this Agreement six months after it provides written notice of withdrawal to the other Parties."

This summer’s clear-cut NAFTA decision on softwood lumber and the U.S. government’s obvious intention to ignore it, is proof that Canada urgently needs to change its strategy. Our government must ask itself why it defends an agreement that our U.S. trading partner blatantly ignores, an agreement for which we have given up so much and received so little.
 

AshG

Member
Originally posted by Bass-Invader
well, a good portion of Canadian (non-softwood lumber) business currently does very well under NAFTA. They are probably worried about their positions being jeopardized by the lumber debate.

In the long term it would definitely prove better to ensure the agreement is enforced but i'm sure there is also a worry that this will balloon and end up destroying the agreement altogether as well.
yeah well the business fraternity need to stop being such short-sighted ninnies and take the medicine that's good for them.

ninnies, the lot of them.

 

judge wopner

TRIBE Member
here's mr. martin's chance to act like a tough guy and stand up to the US on this one. i think collectively people will love it.

it may cause some collateral damage but we will get over it, longer term i think it could only help to bolster our position as legit nation, and not some hotel with which american patrons can stay by the hour gorging on our oil.
 
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