Nanny State

Oh the Hypocrisy of Canadian and EU Faux Freetraders!


From tipster, blogger, and movie critic extraordinaire Alan Vanneman comes word of Public Citizen's revealing take on Canadian and EU hypocrisy related to President Obama's "Buy American" campaign:

While the United States (only) safeguards its preferences for domestic iron and steel used in federally funded state transportation projects, Canada simply carves out steel, motor vehicles and coal altogether (for all provinces, for all sectors), and also carves out all construction contracts issued by the Department of Transport. The EU carved out of its WTO procurement obligations all EU members' country contracts awarded by federal governments and subfederal governments in connection with activities in the fields of drinking water, energy, transport or telecommunications. (On the links, just click on Appendix I, Annexes I-II, and the general notes. Some bits will be easy to read, other bits less so.)

Translated out of trade lingo, both Canada and EU give their nations' companies products much more generous preferences than Congress is even considering giving ours.

More here.

Vanneman on The Encyclopedia Shatnerica.

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  1. The ugly little secret of free trade is that America pretty much always gets screwed.

    Fortunately, the result of lots of unfair but freer trade agreements turns out to be better than the protectionism most of them practice, so we come out ahead.

  2. The ugly little secret of free trade is that America pretty much always gets screwed.

    Fortunately, the result of lots of unfair but freer trade agreements turns out to be better than the protectionism most of them practice, so we come out ahead.


  3. Canada (and certainly the EU) may very well be more worse, but trade is one of those grass-is-greener things. Canadians (especially on the West Coast) gripe endlessly about unfair tariffs the US imposes on their softwood lumber.

    Bottom line should be that protectionism is teh sux, which is true no matter who’s saying it.

  4. Generally, I would be happy if we did what our trading partners said, rather than what they do.

    In this instance I’m inclined to believe the same thing, though…

    Do I want the stimulus bill to be able to buy more stuff through cheaper prices obtained on the free market? Doesn’t that just leave less stuff for me?

  5. …because we have every reason to expect long-term inflation, which means dollar-denominated debt obligations diminish in value relative to real goods…

  6. I live in Quebec, so I know a bit about Canadian protectionism. It’s appalling. The province has a marketing board that sets a price floor for milk, and Canadian wheat growers are required by law to sell their grain to a federal monopsony set up during WWII (under threat of imprisonment).

    Of course, all this is necessary because… because… because… it’s in the interests of a narrow segment of society and the electorate is dumb enough to swallow the drivel they spew.

    Then again, I like to think we’re better than the EU (kind of like how Hitler didn’t kill as many people as Mao).

  7. I just want to say I think it’s criminal to waste Internet bandwidth on Shatner Torture Porn when one could easily be Photoshopping Deanna Troi spanking pics instead.

  8. Bingo,

    Smaller pieces of more pies, instead of bigger pieces of fewer pies.

    We’re robust enough to let us China and Japan screw us with their monetary policy while Canada and the EU screw us with legal restrictions, because we also get some access to their markets.

  9. Alan totally missed Shatner’s make-out video with Koko the Sign-Language-Using Gorilla. Yeah, you read me right.

    I’m also partial to the death scene highlighted in this posting.

  10. Stevo, I’m intrigued by your ideas, and I’d like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  11. Stevo, this is for you.

  12. Adam, yeah, I’m from Western Canada, where they have that wheat pool stuff. The economies of both Manitoba and Saskatchewan stink. Both heavily dependent on agriculture and mining. Manitoba’s even got that cold, grey, Soviet aura.

  13. So, if America is always getting screwed in these deals, why do they always seem to lose when disputes go to the various tribunals. See softwood lumber (Canada), gambling (Antigua/Barbuda)? Just curious . . .

  14. Oh, and Shatner rules. Takei is just Japanese for bitter fruit.

  15. Au contraire, The Winter Soldier. You cannot have the Shat without the Sulu.

    I know this is illegal to say, but I thought Shatner was great as Kirk. He hadn’t gone to full camp in the 60s, of course.

  16. Its because every other country has become so dependent on us Purchasing all of their raw materials that when Canada or the EU did away with it, no big deal. But America!! that’s like if china were to stop sweatshops 100% Our country would freak out. If costa rica did it? meh, only 2% of our clothes come from there.

  17. Pro L
    Is there anyone who doesn’t think the Shat was great as Kirk? Then let them appear here and make their case, if they dare!

    Sure, he was over the top a bit, comically so at times, but that’s become an enjoyable bit of cultural iconography now, so it’s all good.

    He was so macho that when they did the next series decades later the writers felt they had to choose a bald homunculus eunuch as captian as a counterpoint (and I say that as a Picard fan).

    Did anyone see him in Judgment at Nuremberg? An interesting perfomance.

  18. still, focusing on hier at home instead of pointing that “they’re worse”, is a better idea.

    also, the EU is what it is. that was the idea, that was the goal, and they achieved it. the frustrating thing is watching the assholes defend it and give all these bullshit explanations. (nearly as bad as bush supporters today)

    See: Maastricht treaty in Denmark. “threats” from France and Germany.

    “threats” to Norway after the “nej”.

    “threats” to Switzerland if they vote no.

    fuck ’em.

    and there’s no fucking way anybody. ANYBODY. could be a picard fan! d00d! you’re killing me hier! argh!

    *watches betamax re-runs of TJ Hooker (esp. the one where Nimoy plays a detective)*

  19. MNG, if you want to see some crazy early Shatner, watch the 1962 Roger Corman film The Intruder. Shatner plays a rabble-rousing racist. Awesome.

  20. Canada also requires “Canadian” versions of magazines and TV channels. We can’t watch HBO, we have to watch HBO Canada. We can’t get TIME Magazine, we have to buy TIME Magazine Canada. And yes, they are different. Heck, we can’t even get the Super Bowl ads up here because the Canadian channels that carry the game have to show Canadian commercials. Just about every Canadian TV show gets money from all levels of government too, because apparently we need wholesome Canadian grass roots culture shows like Canadian Idol, Matchmaker, and Canada’s Next Top Model to save us from becoming Americans. But America says “buy American steel” and everyone up here goes ape shit. It’s ridiculous.

  21. As a now, former, thank god, resident of the People’s Republic of Manitoba (in Canada), I can attest to the fact that the free trade agreement didn’t go far enough. Given how drab and cold Winnipeg was, the last thing you’d think the commissars in Ottawa would want to do was cut us off from things that make life a little more bearable, like The Sopranos and Cathouse, but go figure, I guess it would have pissed off the Aspers if they’re captive audience had other outlets.

  22. that’s like if china were to stop sweatshops 100% Our country would freak out.

    I think the people working in them would freak out even more.

    Working in sweatshops > working as prostitutes.

    Just saying.

  23. Working in sweatshops > working as prostitutes.

    Ever try to ask (they’re generally liberal) anti-sweatshop people “how are the kids going to live after their workplace is shut down?” Blank stares, all around.

  24. And how is your sweatshop doing Pengie?

  25. Great. Those little bastards are up to 50 ice skates an hour, and I don’t even have to whip them anymore…

  26. Interesting Epi.

    But nothing that man, or Nimoy et al. for that matter, has ever done was as wacky as that Star trek episode where the bad guys had some kind of power that made the Star Trek gang RIDE EACH OTHER LIKE HORSES.

  27. and there’s no fucking way anybody. ANYBODY. could be a picard fan

    man Picard was great
    maybe that’s just a bit of nationalism on my part!

    Sisko was awsome aswell, deep space nine was great from start to finish

    Speaking of EU protectionism,
    over here alot of the states enforce radio stations to play music of certain language

    “Radio stations in France are required to play at least 40% of their songs in French, during prime hours. France’s Pelchat amendment to the 1994 Broadcasting Reform Act is the law which requires this.

    There are studies which correlate radio station play-time with album sales. And that seems to have been one of the motivations to pass this law, for the benefit of protecting the French music industry and their sales of French pop music. Without this law, Anglo-American music (songs in English) would have surely overshadowed French pop music”

    I actually quite like alot of european music but tha law is effectively saying

    our music is so bad we have to get the government to force people to listen to it!

  28. Alan Vanneman is, of course, not fit to brush the Altairian cooties out of Shatner’s toup?e, but his writeup in that last link is pretty damn funny.

  29. I hadn’t clicked on the link til now. Holy shit it may be the funniest thing EVER. How can I pick my favorite lines when there are so many? Well, here are some:

    “Captain James T. Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Dr. McCoy, the homoerotic equivalent of Newton’s three-body problem”

    “it wasn’t enough for Shatner. He continued to rumble and crash through the forests of American popular culture like an obese, drunken 15 T. Rex with a toupee”

    And to top it all off, a nude pic of Angie Dickinson (I never knew she had been nude, now new areas in life are open to me).

    Thanks Alan, it was great.

  30. “And to top it all off, a nude pic of Angie Dickinson (I never knew she had been nude, now new areas in life are open to me).”

    Actually, MNG, until now you really haven’t been living.

    Alan “Countin’ the days ’til Big Bad Mama goes Blu-Ray” Vanneman

  31. As a Brit, I have to remind you that the EU is doing it wrong. All of us in the EU wear two hats, consumer and producer, and trade barriers cost the consumer more than the gain to the producer. We are making ourselves worse off.

    So have a laugh at the expense of Europeans, who just don’t get it. We aren’t shafting America, we are shafting ourselves!

  32. Epesiarch, there is a special place in hell reserved for someone who’d post that when I was really expecting a Deanna Troi spanking Photoshop. And that place is called “Wicked Funny Awesome.”

  33. Did you know I cannot spell “Episiarch”?

  34. If…my death is…to have any…meaning…at least…tell me…what…it…is…I’m dying…for.

    The dude’s phrasing was better than Sinatra on Lady Day.

    mmm…maybe not so much

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