Tag Archives: Obama

Trade & Development: let the protectionists in?

Ok this has to be quick. Tons and tons to do and it’s almost 7pm.  In event planning mode like a mad woman.

Anyways, I just got back from a lecture on Trade & Development.

Interesting…

My background is in International Business, concentration in Int’l Trade & Marketing. So, I know a fair amount about GATT, WTO, regional trade agreemements (stumbling blocks or building blocks etc.), trade & development etc. etc. etc. Not always fresh in memory but Bretton Woods is located somewhere back there.

Anyways.. first lecture I’ve ever been to on Trade &Development where the lecturer espoused protectionism….

I was like seriously? This goes against almost every grain of theory I have ever been taught.  But, that just makes it all the more interesting. Especially since this has been one of the (many) ideological issues of which I won’t plant my feet solidly on the ground – I like to see both sides, which gets fairly annoying at times.  Background in international business yet I highly believe in supporting the local economy. I loved “buying Canadian” and I try to buy veggies with the “Suomi” sticker.

Granted, before I continue.. he wasn’t for protectionism per se. He just stated some of the merits of taking care of one’s own during economic hardship – and gave examples of how China, India, Finland and even Great Britain and America did this occasionally. Quickly – States during depression – i have a feeling that didn’t work out quite so well but as for China and India – true true, they cut themselves off of some bits to prepare themselves to join in this global world.  When countries that aren’t developed go straight into the global world they often tend to fail. Structural adjustment programs in the 80’s anyone? Then again, aren’t we supposed to do Trade NOT Aid!

But still – this is a good time to keep open the debate since Obama just ‘diluted’ but will still go with the “Buy American” clause in the US economic package. Right away when I heard about that, I as Canadian  like “Noooo…  This is gonna be bad for Canada”

But then again, working the local economy can be a good thing. Not always economically, but if you look at other measures, it’s pretty interesting. Who knew that little old isolated Cuba would be the only country in the world to have sustainable development.  Look at their health care system.

And Deep Economy (the Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future) was one of my favourite books, not espousing protectionism.. but definitely all for the local movement.

Big fundamental questions for a girl in international business working with “global growth venturing” all the while sitting on a fence about the developing and pushing for the local economy. Not to say I am now espousing protectionism. Not at all.  That usually leads to monopolies which leads into collecting monopoly rents (That ones for/from you Jay;)

It begs the question though… how sustainable is this global trade world if the only country that fits the bill is CUBA? Almost makes me laugh.. or cry, not sure yet.

Anyways open for debate. Times running out and need to get back to work!!!

BUT WHAT’S MORE SUSTAINABLE FOR THE FUTURE?

GO THE LOCAL ROUTE ?

GO FOR GLOBAL TRADE?

and more importantly.. how do you do both personally, commercially and politically?

Interesting. Will ponder while I desperately try to get invitations out…

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Eat that Republicans!

For a girl who loves her veggies, I’m all about the “low-hanging fruit” (def. here for int’ls).  So yes, eat that Republicans;)

TIME has a great article about how the Republicans are making fun of Obama for his suggestion that if all Americans inflated their tires properly and took their cars for regular tune-ups, they could save as much oil as new offshore drilling would produce. Of course, the Republicans are having a field day with this comment.

But the TIME article suggests that there could be truth in the statement.

The RNC is trying to make the tire gauge a symbol of unseriousness, as if only the fatuous believed we could reduce our dependence on foreign oil without doing the bidding of Big Oil. But the tire gauge is really a symbol of a very serious piece of good news: we can use significantly less energy without significantly changing our lifestyle.


The article is about tackling the “low-hanging fruit” (one of my all-time favourite expressions) – which is naturally, in this energy context, CONSERVATION.  Study after study shows that the cheapest way to alleviate the energy crisis is to fix the demand for energy, not the supply.  But as I even mentioned in yesterday’s post, most Canadians think give their municipal governments a failing grade for energy conservation.

Of course, some people are now citing that the TIME article is wrong (notice that the link is from the Free Republic – a very right-winged, Dixie Chick hating site) – but I’m not going to try and dismiss the facts of the tire gauge vs.  offshore drilling as the TIME article could very well be wrong and Obama could be easily wrong. (I’m sorry, I don’t care enough to start calculating the actual results of the comparison…and it’s NOT ABOUT THE TIRES!)

Tackling the ‘low-hanging fruit’ is not wrong.

Understanding how much energy we use and where we use it – and then trying to decrease that use – that’s just being sensible.

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