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Should Canada limit the category of businesses that could trade with the PRC?


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I'm usually for free trade and open borders, but the PRC is a unique situation given  how the PRC government can intervene in private business decisions for political purposes.

With that, I'd say Canada should limit trade with China to sole proprietorships, worker  cooperatives, and consumer-cooperative natural monopolies. While this would not totally neutralize the PRC government's ability to interfere, it would make it much more difficult for it to do so given the tendency for a sole proprietorship (especially when it's defined more narrowly to mean a business of one person with no employees) to operate on a large scale and for cooperatives to abide by internally more democratic structures.

What would be your thoughts on imposing such a limitation on trade with China? Would this be too strict or a reasonable precautionary limitation?

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Oh man its a complex topic. I mean I sympathize with your intent but from a purely practical consideration with out economy as problematic as it is I doubt any political party would risk any trade with China at this time.

The reality is the entire world is dangerously dependent on Chinese imports and trade deficit debts with them.

Personally I think they are a cancer preventing free trade and genuine fair trade because of the size of the Chinese Communist Party and its control of all its businesses.

Its basically a monolith monopoly a large out of control Walmart to a world of what used to be small grocery stores it swallowed up if I can use that analogy.

. I think the Borg analogy is appropriate to their manner of operations. I also don't think Donald Trump makes for a James T. Kirk as much as he thinks he is that man. Putin  Trudeau  or Jar Jar Binks is not up to the task of  handling these Borg.

 

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34 minutes ago, Rue said:

Oh man its a complex topic. I mean I sympathize with your intent but from a purely practical consideration with out economy as problematic as it is I doubt any political party would risk any trade with China at this time.

The reality is the entire world is dangerously dependent on Chinese imports and trade deficit debts with them.

 Personally I think they are a cancer preventing free trade and genuine fair trade because of the size of the Chinese Communist Party and its control of all its businesses.

Its basically a monolith monopoly a large out of control Walmart to a world of what used to be small grocery stores it swallowed up if I can use that analogy.

. I think the Borg analogy is appropriate to their manner of operations. I also don't think Donald Trump makes for a James T. Kirk as much as he thinks he is that man. Putin  Trudeau  or Jar Jar Binks is not up to the task of  handling these Borg.

 

If we give in to a bully, it bullies us even more. If we don't give in, sure China might be able to impose some hardships on Canada, but so be it. We'd adapt. I think limiting trade with China to sole proprietorships, worker cooperatives, and consumer-cooperative natural monopolies would still allow Canada to trade quite freely with China while providing reasonable protection against Chinese interference.

By the way, I think we never should have allowed ourselves to kowtow to Trump's bullying tactics and never should have signed onto the USMCA either. Given the tensions with our two main trading partners right now, I think one possible solution would be:

1. Unilateral global free trade but limited to sole proprietorships, worker cooperatives and consumer-cooperative natural monopolies with any jurisdiction that does not adhere to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, but open to all businesses otherwise. Any trade agreement beyond that should limit itself to non-tarif and non-quota matters that do not infringe on Canada's unilatral trade arrangement. If a country wants to retaliate, we should just bite the bullet and move on but never kow tow.

Edited by Machjo
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I doubt how much China care about such a small economy like Canada. 

I think Canada should care about self. Not always think others will take from Canada, especially talk about other countries when ignoring US acquire hundreds of Canada company each year.

Actually, after Meng's incident happened, the winter of economy has already start.

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Most of what we buy are inessential consumer products. We can make them or get them elsewhere. Most of what we export to China are raw materials and agricultural products. The prices for these are judged on the open market, just like oil. Think of it as a worldwide pool of oil or wheat, or whatever. Nations that need these things take from the pool. They might make individual deals with this or that country, but their only real decision as to who to buy from rests on how secure the product is and the price. If China decides it's not going to buy wheat from us any more it will need to buy it from, I dunno, let's say Australia. Well, Australia is already selling wheat somewhere, so if it diverts a substantial portion to China then it won't be able to fill those other orders and the people who used to buy from them will need to buy from us. No big deal.

What, you think Australia is suddenly going to be able to triple production of wheat? I don't see that happening.

China is the enemy of the rule of law. It is the enemy of freedom, democracy and a threat to every nation it does business with and every nation around it. Their behavior over this piddling incident, where they've kidnapped Canadians and issuing blood-curdling threats demonstrates what crude, backward thugs they are. They are a nation of corruption and 'might makes right' and they literally do not understand anything else.

Edited by Argus
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1 hour ago, Argus said:

Most of what we buy are inessential consumer products. We can make them or get them elsewhere. Most of what we export to China are raw materials and agricultural products. The prices for these are judged on the open market, just like oil. Think of it as a worldwide pool of oil or wheat, or whatever. Nations that need these things take from the pool. They might make individual deals with this or that country, but their only real decision as to who to buy from rests on how secure the product is and the price. If China decides it's not going to buy wheat from us any more it will need to buy it from, I dunno, let's say Australia. Well, Australia is already selling wheat somewhere, so if it diverts a substantial portion to China then it won't be able to fill those other orders and the people who used to buy from them will need to buy from us. No big deal.

What, you think Australia is suddenly going to be able to triple production of wheat? I don't see that happening.

China is the enemy of the rule of law. It is the enemy of freedom, democracy and a threat to every nation it does business with and every nation around it. Their behavior over this piddling incident, where they've kidnapped Canadians and issuing blood-curdling threats demonstrates what crude, backward thugs they are. They are a nation of corruption and 'might makes right' and they literally do not understand anything else.

I agree with much of your assessment in terms of our trading arrangements with China. The reality is that China needs world markets to sustain its economic growth more than do many or even most of the countries it trades with need its markets, which are heavily protected from foreign competition in any case. China's favorable treatment under WTO rules has generated lopsided trade imbalances. But the Americans are increasingly ceasing to act as fair dealers, which is an even more problematic situation for Canada. Our trade with the U.S. vastly exceeds our trade with China but the Americans certainly haven't acted in good faith in recent years, even during the time preceding Trump's reign. The Americans often don't acknowledge or respect trade dispute decisions that don't go their way, as exhibited by their eternal softwood lumber dispute with Canada, and they continue to practice various forms of protectionism despite the existence of trade deals with other countries, which is particularly harmful to Canadian interests due to the extent of our trading relationship with our large neighbor.

And in the Meng Wanzhou dispute, which is currently in the news, it's highly problematic that the U.S. may be using an extradition treaty with Canada to enforce its doctrine of exceptionalism as well using Ms. Meng as a bargaining chip in Trump's broader trade dispute with China, as Trump's comments now suggest may be the case. So, as much as it's prudent to be wary of China's lack of adherence to the rule of law we should equally be concerned about the behavior of the U.S. in this same context. It seems that all three of the world's major powers are convinced of the validity and righteousness of their own exceptionalism, but the one that has the ability to cause Canada the greatest damage is the U.S. and not China.

Edited by turningrite
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1 hour ago, turningrite said:

......China's lack of adherence to the rule of law ......

I don't know any "rule of law" China break with Canada, I know US lack of adherence of rule of law with Canada such as NAFTA.

1 hour ago, turningrite said:

the one that has the ability to cause Canada the greatest damage is the U.S. and not China.

 I agree with this, US bully every country in this planet include Canada.

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The US record of violating or dissolving key international treaties

 

It is no secret that the modern globalised world is increasingly dependent on the quality of states implementing international agreements that regulate relations between countries. This is of particular importance in fields such as human rights, the environment, and, of course, disarmament and WMD prohibition.

The United States and the Western political circles, the self-styled architects of the “new world order,” constantly violate or drag their feet on the signing of fundamental international agreements. For example, the US ratified the 1948 Genocide Convention only 40 years after its signing. It has not ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The United States has repeatedly violated principles of the UN Charter. For example, that state launched an armed invasion of Grenada in 1983. UN General Assembly Resolution 37/8 described the US action as a gross violation of international law. In 1986, the US made an assault on Libya and invaded Panama in 1989. Both misdeeds were condemned by the UN General Assembly which qualified them as violations of international law.

The International Court of Justice also denounced US violations of the UN Charter. It passed a well-known verdict on Nicaragua vs. the US in 1986, stating directly that the United States had violated Nicaragua’s sovereignty and the norms on non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs and non-use of force.

The irresponsible attitude to the UN Charter on the part of the United States and its allies, translated into the bombing attacks on Yugoslavia in 1999 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003. In March 2011, the US spearheaded NATO’s intervention in Libya, which led to that country’s complete disintegration. An illegal interference in the form of illegitimate air strikes and arms supplies to nongovernmental armed groups spurred on the growth of radical sentiments in Syria, which eventually helped the emergence of a global community of militants and terrorists. America’s absolutely ill-conceived, short-sighted and illegal actions in Iraq as well as the region as a whole have in some way or other facilitated the emergence of the Islamic State. The consequences of US interference in Libya and Syria are amazing in their scale.

The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was signed in 1970 and supported by practically all countries with the exception of Cuba, India, Pakistan and Israel. The treaty outlined a strategic goal, the renunciation of nuclear weapons. Apart from other things, it provided for nuclear states pledging not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear powers. The US claims that it “performs” its NPT obligations but the worrisome situation linked to Washington’s failure to comply with some key provisions of the treaty is still there. The United States continues to engage NATO’s European non-nuclear countries in so-called joint nuclear missions. These “missions” include elements of nuclear planning and skill enhancement drills in how to use nuclear weapons, drills involving non-nuclear NATO countries’ carrier aircraft, air crews, airfield infrastructure and ground support services. All of this is a direct violation of NPT articles 1 and 2. In 2002, certain high-ranking US military officers went on record as saying that they allowed the use of nuclear munitions against non-nuclear states or terrorists.      

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) has been discussed over a period of four decades and signed in 1996. It bans all nuclear explosions, for both civilian and military purposes, in all environments – underground, ground, water, air and outer space. The Treaty was signed by 44 countries possessing nuclear infrastructure. The US and China signed but failed to ratify it. For over 20 years, it was not possible to bring this crucial international treaty into effect. Given that the non-treaty countries take their cues from the United States in the matter of joining the CTBT, Washington’s stagnant stance is the main obstacle standing in the way of tuning the Treaty into a valid international legal instrument.

In 1972, the USA and the USSR signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABMT) that created a mutual assured destruction system. Neither the USSR, nor the USA could attack each other, for a response was sure to destroy the aggressor. Thus, a missile attack automatically became an act of suicide, with the so-called “strategic balance” being established between the two superpowers. This agreement was signed at Washington’s initiative. In 2001, US President George Bush declared that the Americans were unilaterally withdrawing from the agreement. The formal pretext for this step was that the United States wanted to secure itself against missile attacks from so-called “rogue countries” and terrorist groups. This could be taken for granted, if we didn’t see their strategic planning aimed at avoiding international commitments in the spheres where it was important for them to assure their total domination. This is a strategy. Therefore, their explanations that Russia allegedly is failing to live up to its commitments under some or other treaties are just subterfuges. Today I will familiarise you with the real history of US politicians’ behaviour in the area of international law.

Since then, the US efforts to put in place an antimissile system have most adversely affected the international security system, aggravating relations not only in the Euro-Atlantic but also in the Asia Pacific region, emerging as one of the most serious obstacles to the further stage-by-stage nuclear disarmament and creating dangerous prerequisites for a resumption of the nuclear armed race.

The next point is the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) which prohibits the development, production, transportation, diffusion and use of chemical weapons, as all of us well know. Apart from this, it provides for the creation of a complex and total international surveillance system. The US played a key role in drafting and signing this agreement. But it was and is doing its best to avoid international inspections as likely to threaten their national security interests. We have been hearing this explanation from Washington for many years. Some other countries have followed in the footsteps of the US.      

The next agreement, Biological Weapons Convention, was signed in 1972 and came into force in 1975. It banned the development, production, stockpiling and acquisition of biological agents that could be used as weapons and of biological weapons proper. The Convention included a special protocol that banned the use of even tiny quantities of deadly microorganisms or toxins for research purposes. The US was rather a reluctant participant in efforts to reach an agreement on the Convention, while some senior US officials were in principle against the signing of the protocol as it would likely damage the interests of US microbiological research companies. In July 2001, Washington declared that it would not abide by the protocol until it was amended.

The next document is the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty which extends the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The aim of the Convention was to reduce industrial atmospheric emissions causing the so-called “greenhouse effect.” The “greenhouse effect,” in turn is believed to be one of the main causes of the global climate change. The US signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1992, but in 2001, the then US administration refused to comply with its provisions, saying that there was no unambiguous proof of the relationship between global warming processes and the amount of gaseous emissions. The Bush administration believed that implementing the Convention put the US industry in a quandary while not helping to fight the “greenhouse effect.” 

I think it makes no sense to reiterate the information concerning the Paris Agreement. All of you know what has happened to it. 

In assessing compliance with the obligations under Vienna Document 2011 (VD11) on confidence and security-building measures, the United States keeps reiterating the same accusations against Russia, citing “selective implementation” and “insufficient transparency.” However, this US dissatisfaction with Russia boils down to some vague concerns from 2014 in connection with “Russia's implementation of the document, including in relation to Ukraine.”

By groundlessly accusing Russia of “arming and training separatists in Eastern Ukraine and conducting joint military operations,” the United States and NATO countries have seriously discredited the role of this document as an instrument of objective control of the military activities of the OSCE member states.

The United States and its allies have repeatedly circumvented the restrictive provisions of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) through the NATO expansion everybody knows about. At the same time, they in every possible way avoided the renewal of the regime of conventional arms control (CAC) in Europe proposed by Russia in accordance with the new military and political realities on the continent. The most vivid confirmation of this, for example, is their refusal to ratify the Agreement on Adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (adapted CFE).

In August 2018, the United States froze cooperation with Russia under the Treaty on Open Skies. Practically from the very moment of the signing of this document, Washington has been ignoring its requirements to work out special procedures for the aerial observation of its islands and territorial waters. Thus, for a long time a significant part of US territory was simply inaccessible for observation, which was a gross violation of the foundations of the Treaty. Only at the end of 2015 did Washington meet Russia’s requirements. However, the procedures for the Aleutian Islands still provide no possibility for the flight crews to rest there, which may adversely affect flight safety and significantly limit Russia’s ability to observe this part of US territory.

On August 31, the US authorities demanded the suspension of the work of the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco, the trade mission in Washington and its branch office in New York until September 2. After this, the buildings belonging to Russia were seized. According to many legal experts, these actions of the United States with respect to Russian diplomatic property are illegal because they violate the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

At the October 3 briefing, Assistant to the President of the United States for National Security Affairs John Bolton said the US was withdrawing from the Optional Protocol Concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which allowed Convention violation disputes to be settled by the UN International Court of Justice in the Hague.

US President Donald Trump said Washington is withdrawing from the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, which we have already talked about today.

This is a far-from-complete list of examples of how the US treats international law, international agreements. They are actually manipulating these documents depending on the current political situation and predominant interests in Washington.

Therefore, when we are told that the US is withdrawing from some agreement because we are not complying with something there – this is not true. Such excuses will not work.

This is just a small list of how they joined and withdrew from international agreements; signed but not ratified them; signed, ratified, but not complied with them; or modified agreements in their own way and taste. It can be expanded.

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Limiting trade with mainland China to sole proprietorships, worker cooperatives, and consumer-cooperative natural monopolies would not greatly limit trade. For example, large Chinese companies like Huawei would still be able to sell to Canada, but just through the proxy of one of these smaller or more democratically-managed businesses. This would place a third-party business between us and so just make it much more difficult for a business like Huawei to engage in any political activity in Canada though such a proxy.

Edited by Machjo
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42 minutes ago, bjre said:

Why should Canada damage China by sacrifice its own economy? Is it simply because fear of the united states? So Canada is not an independent nation, it is only one of the salves of the US?

https://www.thestar.com/business/2018/12/13/canada-must-protect-trade-ties-with-china-farm-group-says.html

If you're referring to the arrest, that was strictly apolitical. Even our politicians have no power over this. They did not request the arrest and had no power to prevent it either. It's now up to a judge to make that decision. That's what the PRC needs to understand. The PRC will do what it wants, but Canada will never (or at least I hope will never) blur the line between the legislative and judicial branches of the government. In canada, the two are very separate, and for good reason.

Now as for the economic question. Just as Canada has no control over Trump's insanity, it has no control over China's bullying either. With that in mind, we should just focus on Canada. Clearly a country like the US or China that whos the will to bully Canada is a country Canada should approach with caution. Limiting Canadian trade with China to sole proprietorships, worker cooperatives, and consumer-cooperative natural monopolies would grreatly minimize the PRC government's ability to intervene in Canadian political affairs while still allowing ordinary Canadians and ordinary Chinese to trade with one another. Canada could easily compensate by unilaterally dropping tariffs and quotas against China.

On the matter of Chinese espionage, I'll give you an idea of how much I dislike espionage. When I lived in China, had I ever found out that my Canadian neighbour was spying in China, I myself would have turned him in to the Chinese authorities. Now, given how I love Canada, imagine how I feel about the idea that a Chinese entity could be spying on Canada!

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32 minutes ago, Machjo said:

If you're referring to the arrest, that was strictly apolitical. Even our politicians have no power over this. They did not request the arrest and had no power to prevent it either. It's now up to a judge to make that decision.

This is not true. According to the Extradition Act:

 

Quote

https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/e-23.01/page-2.html

Minister’s Power to Receive Requests

Marginal note:Request to go to Minister

    11 (1) A request by an extradition partner for the provisional arrest or extradition of a person shall be made to the Minister.

....

Warrant for Provisional Arrest

Marginal note:Minister’s approval of request for provisional arrest

12 The Minister may, after receiving a request by an extradition partner for the provisional arrest of a person, authorize the Attorney General to apply for a provisional arrest warrant, if the Minister is satisfied that

    (a) the offence in respect of which the provisional arrest is requested is punishable in accordance with paragraph 3(1)(a); and

    (b) the extradition partner will make a request for the extradition of the person.

And actually Trudeau knew that:

Quote

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/trudeau-huawei-arrest-meng-wanzhou-1.4935471

Trudeau says he had advance notice of Huawei executive's arrest

 

37 minutes ago, Machjo said:

Clearly a country like the US or China that whos the will to bully Canada is a country Canada should approach with caution.

I don't think China is bully Canada, I think Canada is helping US bullying China.

38 minutes ago, Machjo said:

would grreatly minimize the PRC government's ability to intervene in Canadian political affairs

I don't think China has ability or intention to intervene in Canadian political affairs.

I know US and Canada never stop intervene in China political affairs, they keep try to convert China into a western style democracy system.

41 minutes ago, Machjo said:

On the matter of Chinese espionage,

I don't know Chinese espionage, just heard the media talk about it everyday among others which Trump called "fake news". I did hear about US never stop spy everyone in this earth from Edward Snowden's story.

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Our trade with China is very lopsided now.   We export resources, but add zero value.  China, on the other hand, has managed to monopolize several markets for junk, furniture (usually junk furniture), electronics, and on it goes.   All very high value added imports.  We shot ourselves in this foot when we and the Yanks decided we were too important to make the little things that China did/does, and one at a time, they managed to knock all competitors out of many different markets.   Many of those competitors were Canadians.  Now, for example, they are at the level of selling us cars that we can no longer make.

We would be damned fools (what the hell, we elected a mental midget and a raft of his fellow travellers) to limit doing business with China.   What our problem really is we simply don't want to bother learning how to BE in business.  One thing we remain blissfully ignorant of is the fact that Canada is a trusted and even preferred source of things to import to China.  We are just too lazy and stupid to figure out what products we can sell there and get off of our entitled asses and make them.

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1 hour ago, cannuck said:

Our trade with China is very lopsided now.   We export resources, but add zero value.  China, on the other hand, has managed to monopolize several markets for junk, furniture (usually junk furniture), electronics, and on it goes.   All very high value added imports.  We shot ourselves in this foot when we and the Yanks decided we were too important to make the little things that China did/does, and one at a time, they managed to knock all competitors out of many different markets.   Many of those competitors were Canadians.  Now, for example, they are at the level of selling us cars that we can no longer make.

We would be damned fools (what the hell, we elected a mental midget and a raft of his fellow travellers) to limit doing business with China.   What our problem really is we simply don't want to bother learning how to BE in business.  One thing we remain blissfully ignorant of is the fact that Canada is a trusted and even preferred source of things to import to China.  We are just too lazy and stupid to figure out what products we can sell there and get off of our entitled asses and make them.

I think the OP made it clear that I was referring to political and not economic matters here. We could still trade with China, but we want to ensure they can't engage too easily in political activity in Canada. That's all.

As for Canadian producing higher-valued products, we would need to promote freer trade (and I would be in favour of unilaterally dropping all tariffs and quotas on China for example) and invest more in universal compulsory education. Are we prepared to do that?

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13 hours ago, Machjo said:

I think the OP made it clear that I was referring to political and not economic matters here. We could still trade with China, but we want to ensure they can't engage too easily in political activity in Canada. That's all.

As for Canadian producing higher-valued products, we would need to promote freer trade (and I would be in favour of unilaterally dropping all tariffs and quotas on China for example) and invest more in universal compulsory education. Are we prepared to do that?

When it comes to trade, you can't separate economics from politics.   When it comes to politics, though, I would much rather have China as a trade irritant than a military force with conflicting objectives.  China has jointed the rest of the world thanks to Deng, but it still has not been able to put its authoritarian attitude of government and complete disregard for IP rights of others off to the side.

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5 minutes ago, cannuck said:

When it comes to trade, you can't separate economics from politics.   When it comes to politics, though, I would much rather have China as a trade irritant than a military force with conflicting objectives.  China has jointed the rest of the world thanks to Deng, but it still has not been able to put its authoritarian attitude of government and complete disregard for IP rights of others off to the side.

Given China's more authoritarian nature, doesn't it make sense to limit trade to freer and more democratic business models?

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6 minutes ago, Machjo said:

Given China's more authoritarian nature, doesn't it make sense to limit trade to freer and more democratic business models?

Never.  

The counter to their issues would be import requirements that require equivalent labour standards, environmental protection but most of all actual verification of things such as materials and proven product safety.   We are not enough of an export destination for anyone to get too upset about, but the US is the absolute source of the incredible wealth of China today, followed by Yurp and distantly everyone else (including us).   Our significant position is as an exporter - and to harm that business in ANY way would be for us to be cutting our nose off of our collective face.  We simply need to learn how to aggressively pursue value added exports instead of just resources.

Edited by cannuck
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