International trade must become part of our culture – Western Producer

Do you remember when Canada was finally going to be the international trade winner? If your short-term memory isn’t too bad, you should.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership listed Canada as its biggest beneficiary — big country, small population, lots of exports.

In case we need a little more information, the TPP was an agreement that was set to be ratified about the time the last American election took place. The expected new Democrat party president, Hillary Clinton, was going to put her official seal on the deal and Canadians, especially farmers and food industry folks, were going to cast our eyes and nets into the western horizon.


Boats filled with our sustainable futures would churn their props and deliver on the dreams held by generations — fair trade for Canadian products.

Clinton didn’t win, and the TPP sank to the bottom of the Pacific after the fellow who did threw it overboard. A new TPP was signed, now called the CPTPP, but without the United States, and it wasn’t as profitable for us as we hoped.

Typically, conservative Republicans have been the American tribe that was friendly to international trade and we could count on them to help defeat global protectionism. But the political world is topsy-turvy right now.

In Western nations, conservative politicians have become protectionists, as they desperately try to garner the votes of “working folks,” often in manufacturing roles that are under pressure from lower-cost labour from abroad.

It was once the role of liberal Democrats