(John Ivison — National Post)
What a difference a couple of years makes. For the Conservatives, cutting is the new spending and, in the words of Ed Fast, trade is the new stimulus.
The Canadian response to the financial crisis has been to grow domestic demand, aided by low interest rates, and re-orient trade relations to the emerging new world economic order.
The first course has been successful but households are now tapped out and interest rates are set to rise. The fate of the Canadian economy and, in all likelihood, the Conservative government rests on boosting exports that are still below pre-recession levels.
Those hopes rely on Canada concluding a comprehensive economic and trade agreement (CETA) with the European Union. This is not just because it would boost existing two-way trade of $92.1-billion by an estimated 20%, but also because the reforms needed to strike the CETA in areas like intellectual property, government procurement, labour mobility and agriculture will be required if the Conservatives are to make good on their ambitious trade agenda with other countries like Japan, India and South Korea. Read more here.
Date: April 25, 2012