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October 05, 2007

Comments

Michael Nemec

The article seems to indicate that all will sort itself out. However, certain points have been left out.
Manufacturers in Southeast Asia are employing workforce that gets paid much less, works, frequently, in very poor conditions, and currency is unfairly controlled by the government, i.e. China.
Furthermore, we are destroying our manufacturing capabilities that will be harder to recover if there is tension or hostility in the future between North America and Southeast Asia. This is a very distinct possibility considering recent comments of a high ranking Chinese general pointing to aggressiveness of the regime.

Additionally, it is a fact that, while transferring manufacturing to cheap labour countries, North America must transfer technology to allow these manufacturers to function. Southeast Asia, esp. China, is notorious for technological piracy which is condoned by the government itself. Thus, where are the high tech jobs when the knowledge becomes pirated by unscrupulous countries?

The author suggests producing value added products by Canada. This is very dubious as our resources are being bought out by foreigners, exported to their countries, used for manufacture of goods and returned to us in form of merchandise (WITH VALUE ADDED TO THE BENEFIT OF NON-CANADIAN MANUFACTURER/COUNTRY). It seems to me that we do not have the manufacturing to use these resources to add value to them as we have sold out that capability. One should try to find products that are both made in Southeast Asia and Canada. They are few and far in-between.

There are, also, questions of safety evidenced by discovery of unsafe products imported to North America. It appears that some of Southeast Asian governments do not have the safeguards (or do not care about the safety of consumers)we are used to.

I suspect North America has severe trade imbalance with Southeast Asia, which allows net flow of money out the country. Can someone tell me how we replenish the deficit-print more money?

Canadian government is complicit in erosion of our manufacturing by granting low preferential duty tariff imported from, at least, China.

I am one person who will avoid buying products that are produced using unfair labour practices from countries that are undemocratic and potentially dangerous to our way of life.

Harvey

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your note. There are degrees of truth in your comments about our manufacturing vulnerability and our over reliance on resources to drive our economy.

This is an unresolved and heated debate that has been ongoing since the 70's. There was a time when left of centre theorists advocated tariffs and state ownership of industries to thwart everything you so accurately described.

We definitely need to protect our economic soverignty but I'm not sure if stopping global trade and flow of capital are the answers.


Mark

It all sounds like a smoke screen to cover up the fact that MEC had in the past marketed itself with the sourced from Canada concept. Now, it seems that most items are made in Asia and prices are through the roof.

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