Blog Archives: Canada’s Role in the World
The CCCE, in partnership with Canada 2020, held an event titled “Canada-China Relations, Keeping up the Momentum”. At the event,Wendy Dobson of Rotman presented her book, Partners and Rivals: The uneasy future of China’s relationship with the United States. She exhorted Canadians to anticipate the future, when China will move up the value chain in sectors such as rail, advanced manufacturing and clean tech and look for innovation partners. Canada can play in this space. Dr. Dobson noted Canada is seen positively but not strategically in China.
Thoughtful views from Ralph Lutes of Teck, and Bruce Simpson of McKinsey, brought out the key business opportunities and importance of China to Canada’s economy. Mr. Simpson challenged Canada to think about helping China get its cities right – we have three of the best cities in the world in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. If current trends hold, by 2025 China will have 221 cities with one million–plus inhabitants, says McKinsey. Canada has the expertise to help China get its cities right.
Premier Brad Wall set out his vision for Saskatchewan’s engagement with China, driven in large part by agriculture and energy products. Given the huge … Read more »
David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, made a State visit to China last week. Watch John Manley, President and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, and a member of the accompanying delegation, discuss the official welcoming ceremony of the State visit. … Read more »
By Eric Miller
On October 17, the U.S. Government will have just $30 billion cash on hand. Best estimates of outstanding revenue and liabilities suggest that without an increase in its Debt Ceiling, America may, within a fortnight, be unable to meet all of its financial obligations. Given that the U.S. dollar is the world’s reserve currency and, thus, underpins the global financial system, the consequences of a U.S. default would be profound. Concurrently, much of the U.S. Government has been shut down since October 1 due to a lack of agreement on the budget. Some 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed, which is costing the economy an estimated 0.1% to 0.4% of GDP per week. Given the importance of the United States to Canada and its firms, the following note provides a guide to the present state of affairs and key deadlines.
What is the Debt Ceiling?
The debt ceiling is the legislatively determined limit up to which the U.S. Government may borrow funds. Article I of the U.S. Constitution establishes that all government spending must be authorized through an appropriation passed by Congress. In executing this power, the legislative branch has always imposed limits on federal borrowing. The … Read more »
by John Dillon
President Barack Obama committed his Administration to a “new national climate action plan” in a speech earlier this summer, and indicated that he was “directing the Environmental Protection Agency to put an end to the limitless dumping of carbon pollution from our power plants, and complete new pollution standards for both new and existing power plants”.
The EPA revealed some of those details in mid-September. It actually sets a standard that is somewhat more lenient than that adopted by Canada’s federal government. As well, at this point it only clarifies the standard that will apply to new coal-fired plants and those built to use natural gas. The standards applying to some 1,000 existing coal-fired facilities have yet to be worked out and will require delicate and perhaps lengthy negotiations with individual states, some of which are still highly reliant on coal for the bulk of their electricity.
As recently as five years ago, coal made up 50 percent of the electricity mix in the United States but that has since dropped to less than 40 percent. There are a number of reasons, including aging plants that were no longer efficient, and the improving economics of renewable power … Read more »
The World Economic Forum’s 2013 “summer Davos”, called the Annual Meeting of the New Champions, was held last week in China, and hosted over 1500 participants from more than 90 countries. Leaders of established firms, new companies with global growth potential, entrepreneurs and public figures convened to discuss four key themes: innovation, connecting markets, transforming industry through sustainable development and building societal resilience. The meeting, which was held in a state-of-the-art, purpose-built new conference facility in Dalian, was packed with insights and fascinating conversations, many of them by happenstance as participants collided into one another during breaks or at receptions.
I came away from the conference with four insights on China:
1. The new leadership of Xi Jingping is focused on a more sustainable, yet unrelenting, path to growth. There is an acknowledgement that alongside increased value-added production and urbanization, China will also focus on environmental concerns. Premier Li Keqiang noted in his speech that 7.5% would be an acceptable rate of growth to balance economic advancement and resource conservation. This planned balance between energy development and conservation in China applies equally from coal power to nuclear, solar power to oil and gas, from wind power to … Read more »
The Russian G20 Summit takes place the end of this week, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will all be attending. Russia has chosen global economic growth, job creation, and open trade and investment as priority items for this meeting. Canada should be looking to achieve the following five things in St Petersburg:
- A renewed commitment to the multilateral trading system. G20 leaders recognize the value of international trade to the global economy, and so must continue to support the World Trade Organization (WTO) and work towards the completion of the Doha Round.
- A pledge to open markets and resist protectionism. Countries around the world continue to implement measures that restrict trade. Leaders must take action to further open their markets, not the opposite.
- A WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. In the absence of movement on the Doha Round, achieving an agreement on trade facilitation is a step in the right direction for the multilateral trade regime and will provide immediate benefits to Canadian businesses.
- The promotion of international investment. G20 leaders should reiterate their support for open cross-border investment as an essential contributor to growth, development and job creation.
If a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union is passed, Canadian companies would be able to compete as equals with European firms in the much larger EU market – a real opportunity for Canadian industries and consumers. The risks of such a deal are vastly outweighed by the opportunities it will present, says Daniel Schwanen, Assistant Vice President, Research, C.D. Howe Institute, in an e-brief today.
“We are nearing a turning point for Canadian trade policy, whether a deal is reached in the next few weeks, or not. The issues involved are global: it is a good test case for how Canada will adapt to emerging trade realities,” Mr. Schwanen said.
by John Dillon
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has just introduced reforms, including to the Mexican constitution, that if approved will open up that country’s energy production to foreign investment. The Mexican oil industry was nationalized in 1938 and domestic control of this important sector has long been a point of national pride. The President’s proposals may yet face a tougher ride in Congress, even though energy reform is also supported by Mexico’s main opposition party, since a two-thirds majority in Congress is required to change the constitution.
For several decades, Mexican energy production and distribution has been the domain of the state-run organization known as Pemex. According to its critics, Pemex is inefficient, under-capitalized and lacks expertise in some aspects of energy operations, something it could gain through joint ventures and other partnerships with foreign energy giants. Indeed, notwithstanding vast available reserves, Mexican oil production has dropped by almost one-third since 2005 and Mexico is now importing natural gas.
This development has at least two significant implications for Canada. First, it may impact Canada’s positionas thenumber one supplier of oil to the United States. One reason for TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline to the United States is to … Read more »
Following TransCanada’s announcement yesterday that it will proceed with the Energy East pipeline project, moving 1.1 million barrels of oil per day to Canada’ East coast, Irving Oil announced plans to develop a marine terminal, connecting the pipeline with an ice-free, deep water port. The project is another important piece of infrastructure that will ensure that Canada can get its products to Canadian and international markets.
“Modern and high quality pipelines, electricity transmission lines and other infrastructure are critical to ensuring that Canadians have access to reliable and affordable energy, to strengthening the nation’s energy security, and to expanding our export opportunities,” John Manley, President and CEO of the CCCE, said yesterday.… Read more »
Temporary Foreign Workers have received a lot of attention lately, but what exactly is a Temporary Foreign Worker and how does someone qualify to enter Canada under the program? The Business Council of British Columbia sheds some much-needed light on these questions.… Read more »