From Fordism to neoconservatism : free trade and Canadian industrial policy in an era of globalism /
Lord, Clarence H.
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Nothing today affects the lives of people in countries throughout the industrialized and developing world as much as international trade. Nowhere is this more true than in Canada. Canada's involvement in international trade has a long history dating back to 1854 when it was a British colony. As a major trading country, Canada has always adopted a proactive industrial policy which has been largely responsible for its relative economic prosperi ty. But, wi th businesses now free to invest and divest under the terms of the CUFTA and the NAFTA, the most fundamental concerns for Canadians, in a borderless world, are what powers will the Canadian government have to shape industrial policy, and to what extent can Canada continue as a viable nationstate if it can no longer control its national economy? These are important concerns because, in world without borders, the adjustment process becomes more volatile and more difficult to manage. The CUFTA and the NAFTA not only create the rules for conducting trade, but they also establish a set of new rules for the Canadian government that will diminish its power. As a member of a new North American trading bloc, Canada will find itself subject to a set of forces requiring analysis beyond participation in a conventional free trade area. Because many of the traditional levers of government will now be subject to external control imposed by these agreements, Canada will not be able to mount certain policies in the future that it has relied on in the past. This reality limits the pro-active role of the Canadian state to use policies and programmes for the country's immediate national development. What this thesis attempts is an examination of the evolution of Canadian industrial policy, in effect, the transi tion from Fordism to Neoconservatism, and an assessment of Canada's future as a nation-state as it tries to find security and improved access in a free trade arrangement. Unless Canada takes steps to neutralize the asymmetry of power between itself and the United States through adjustment programmes, it is the contention of this thesis that its economic future is anything but stable.