Op-Eds

  • September 6, 2017  |  Author: Stewart Beck
    Few Canadians know much about APEC, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and even fewer still know anything about ABAC, the APEC Business Advisory Council. This week, Toronto will be hosting the third of four annual meetings of ABAC, a council made up of three senior business leaders from each of the 21 APEC economies. The third meeting is always the most significant because council members...
  • June 9, 2017  |  Author: Hugh Stephens
    The Trump administration has scrambled the cards in the trade policy world. Not only will the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) be reopened — with uncertain results — but President Donald Trump has scuttled the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by announcing the United States’ withdrawal from the agreement. Canada, originally cool toward the TPP, pushed hard to be included in it. The TPP...
  • May 31, 2017  |  Authors: Eva Busza, Dr. Iris Jin
    Beijing’s Belt and Road Summit and Gala last week was not just an elaborate dinner party and display of theatrics – it was China’s version of an invitation to the global community to engage with its most ambitious trade and infrastructure project yet ­– the US$1-trillion Belt and Road Initiative. First announced by President Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative is an...
  • May 17, 2017  |  Author: Stewart Beck
    Thank you President Donald Trump. Your hard talk and the consequent uncertainty in our trading relationships is motivating Canadians to reconsider how we view Asia, particularly China. We thought it was important to poll Canadians about their views on China and a China free-trade agreement (FTA) after the U.S. inauguration to see if there were any changes in attitudes towards China. The poll was...
  • May 5, 2017  |  Author: Joseph Caron
    Was the U.S.-China summit at Mar-a-Lago a bust? A whimper instead of a bang? Certainly, on the surface, the meeting of Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump in Florida earlier this month did not meet the expectations of the Fox News crowd. In fact, in the days leading up to the summit, both the Chinese and U.S. downplayed the likelihood of dramatic outcomes. In the end, it...
  • April 21, 2017  |  Author: Pitman B. Potter
    The new administration in Washington has caused no small amount of unease and uncertainty for Canada. President Trump’s executive order withdrawing support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and his stated goal of renegotiating NAFTA challenge Canada’s trade-reliant economy. Recent comments by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross suggest that forthcoming NAFTA negotiations will involve more than...
  • March 22, 2017  |  Author: Stewart Beck
    Canada has been fortunate to have traditional trade partners in North America and Europe as sources of growth and stability, and these partnerships must be maintained. But with the wave of deeply isolationist anti-trade rhetoric sweeping Europe and the U.S., the Asia Pacific ­­– with its fast-growing economies and expanding middle classes – makes more sense for Canada and Canadians with...
  • March 20, 2017  |  Author: Stewart Beck
    When Asia’s top business leaders joined their Canadian counterparts in Vancouver one year ago for the inaugural meeting of the Asia Business Leaders Advisory Council (ABLAC), the world by comparison was a normalized and familiar place. Twelve months later and that world is very different indeed: a wave of isolationist, nationalistic rhetoric has since swept the globe, sending a chill through...
  • February 16, 2017  |  Author: Eva Busza
    Small and medium-sized Canadian businesses that are exporting to the U.S. suddenly have a lot to worry about. If U.S. President Donald Trump’s claims that he will enact sweeping tax reforms and renegotiate NAFTA are realized, our companies are likely to see their profits fall and demand for their products and services decline. As some 88 per cent of the total exports of Canadian small businesses...
  • February 15, 2017  |  Author: Joseph Caron
    Donald Trump was not the only political figure who made a speech on January 20. A few hours earlier, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo did so as well. The PM’s annual Government Policy Speech is a cross between the U.S. State of the Union and the speech from the throne of British parliamentary practice. It’s a chance for the government to brag about its past achievements and promise more to come...
  • January 13, 2017  |  Author: Deanna Horton
    The Economist magazine recently singled Canada out as an example to the world. The magazine focused on our liberalism and tolerance, but can we be “cool” too? Japan has done it with its Cool Japan Fund. Are there lessons there for us? The Cool Japan Fund (CJF), launched three years ago, invests in promoting Japan’s unique and innovative products and services to growth markets in Asia and beyond...
  • November 29, 2016  |  Author: Hugh Stephens
    The TPP, at least its current form, is dead. It was on life support throughout the U.S. election but president-elect Donald Trump has driven a stake through its heart with his announcement that he will initiate the process for the U.S. to withdraw from the deal on Day 1 of his presidency. And that will effectively end the TPP as we know it because of terms that state that the agreement will come...
  • November 25, 2016  |  Author: Stewart Beck
    The pundits are having a field day with the results of the U.S. election. But for me, there are two critical takeaways for Canada: First, the level of uncertainty in our trade relations with the U.S. has gone up exponentially; and, second, "Brand America" in the eyes of many countries in Asia has taken an incredible beating. This has significant implications for Canada. Diversifying our trade and...
  • October 24, 2016  |  Author: Stewart Beck
    British Columbia’s liquefied natural gas super-project appears to have crossed the final hurdle only to find itself in search of a finish line. Conditionally approved by Ottawa late last month, the proposed C$36-billion Pacific NorthWest LNG plant on B.C.’s North Coast brings the promise of thousands of Canadian jobs and billions in annual taxes and royalties. It signifies the federal government...
  • October 12, 2016  |  Author: Hugh Stephens
    The news that Canada and China have agreed to begin negotiations toward reaching an extradition treaty has led to a hasty rush to judgment. A number of commentators have been quick to pillory the proposal, citing amongst other concerns: China’s high rate of executions, lack of due process and transparency in its “brutal” judicial system, and political motivations behind the current anti-...
  • September 9, 2016  |  Author: Hugh Stephens
    The news that Canada and China have come to an interim agreement to postpone the imposition of new standards for importing canola seed, due to take effect on Sept. 1, and to continue discussions on the issue is welcome. However, resolving this issue will not be easy and I doubt the Chinese will simply back down. At the risk of being accused of being a heretic, panda-hugger or unpatriotic...
  • September 7, 2016  |  Authors: Eva Busza, Valentine Ostaszewski
    Leaders from the most powerful developed and emerging states will descend on Hangzhou, China next month to deliberate on the state of the world’s economy. The G20 Forum — a brainchild of our own former prime minister (then finance minister) Paul Martin — was established over twenty years ago in response to the Asian financial crisis that began in Thailand and reverberated globally. While we aren’...
  • September 6, 2016  |  Author: Stewart Beck
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau begins his first official visit to China on Tuesday ahead of the G20 leaders’ summit in Hangzhou. This is a critical and somewhat uncertain time in Canada-China relations, and Canadians will be watching intently to see how Ottawa fares as it seeks what the Prime Minister has described as “a closer, more balanced relationship.” With bilateral trade worth $85.3-...
  • August 15, 2016  |  Author: Eva Busza
    Last summer, as drought spread across Western Canada, water was the conversation of the day. Restaurants began providing glasses only on demand, strict watering restrictions were imposed and we heard a lot about innovations like smart shower heads. Six months later, after decent rains and snowfall, Canadian public attention has died down, but the underlying problem of diminishing supply remains...
  • August 8, 2016  |  Author: Nathan Allen
    If you believe the recent wave of op-eds and opinion columns, we are about to enter a protectionist age. The common people have finally said “enough” to trade agreements that have hollowed out the middle class, generated income inequality and prompted runaway deregulation. The out-of-touch elites and their globalist vision have been proven wrong – the day of reckoning is upon us. The only...

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