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Placing democracy and sovereignty at the top of the policy agenda in Canada
Canadian Dimension , 37(5), September-October 2003, pp. 35-36
Abstract: The need to revitalize Canadian democracy and to protect our sovereignty is as urgent a goal as there ever was. The threats to Canadian democracy were intensified in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. Canadian government responded to U.S. security and global geopolitical concerns by engaging with the U.S. on a policy agenda that appeared to focus on border security and free cross-border trade, but in reality promoted corporate-driven integration with the U.S. It is urgent for progressive forces to mobilize against the dangers implicit in this agenda, and to construct a vision of, and policies for, an alternative path. All the major proposals advance a customs union to various degrees. In a customs union all restrictions on mutual trade are removed and a common external tariff is adopted, thus eliminating the need for rules of origin. Yet it is doubtful whether this would neutralize the major instruments of U.S. protectionism, like countervailing duties and anti-dumping measures. Moreover, Canada would have to give up much of its policy space, and the danger is that our trade policy would effectively be set in the U.S., resulting in severe impacts on our country.
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