Vladimir Putin

Lortie, Pierre

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The issue of the establishment of a free trade area with the United States. Canada at a critical juncture: the fourth time in the past 150 years that it has grappled with the issue of free trade with the U.S. The acknowledgement that Canada cannot remain resource-driven and insure the maintenance of a superior quality of life for Canadians. The need for a reliance on a larger domestic market to establish the competitiveness of its manufacturing sector. Free trade with the U.S. as a window of opportunity for Canada. Affects of the terms of trade. A discussion of international commodity markets. The fundamental and critical question of how Canada should respond to a deterioration in our terms of trade. The need for a less obvious solution and a consideration of that solution. Becoming competitive. Debunking some myths with a discussion of each: Direct foreign investments should increase, not decrease; The threat from contingent protection actions on the part of the U.S.; The removal of barriers to trade across Canada. Putting things in perspective: looking at the Macdonald Commission findings. Short-term costs and long-term benefits. The importance of over-all benefits. Some positive short-term effects. Learning some lessons about growth. Some remarks on the cultural and sovereignty arguments. A rise to the challenge by the Canadian business community. Leadership as a critical factor. Disseminating the facts and ensuring a debate. Designing ways and means to smooth the transition. Similar challenges faced by the Toronto business community. Making contributions to a new National Policy.

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