Scott Lincicome has a great op-ed explaining how Canada was one of the first large economies to recover from the Great Recession not by embarking on a massive round of bailouts and handouts to its local producers, but by liberalising trade and giving all Canadians the best opportunity to compete in the global marketplace. What exactly did Stephan Harper’s government do? Lincicome explains:
"At the onset of the recession, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government moved aggressively to improve Canadian manufacturers’ global competitiveness. After extensive consultations with Canadian industries, Ottawa unilaterally eliminated tariffs on 1,755 different types of machinery, equipment and other manufacturing materials.
The Department of Finance presented a straightforward rationale for the move: “By reducing the cost of importing key factors of production, tariff relief encourages innovation and allows businesses to enhance their stock of capital equipment.” The Department projected that Canada’s complete liberalization of more than C$5 billion in imports will provide an additional C$300 million in annual duty savings for Canadian businesses."
When released, the G-20 communiqué (written in advance of the meeting itself, you see) will inevitably be laden with grandiose promises about “commitments” to concluding the Doha Round at the World Trade Organisation, new “tougher” international financial regulations and other pieces of feel-good rhetoric. What it should contain is a commitment by each participating government to follow in the footsteps of the host nation and a strict time-table for doing so.