"... it must be the national interest - not the federal government's political interest - that guides the government's actions when it comes to something as fundamental as respect for the rules of our trading relationship with the United States."The concern, as has been pointed out elsewhere is that it has been hypothesized that the Liberal Party will run on a campaign based on growing anti-American sentiment to garner votes. I'm not sure the Liberal Party would stoop there, but, I've been naive before.
At minimum, we'll need to talk tough on trade - somebody needs to talk to the President now, and not wait for a reconvening of Parliament.
If we play it wrong, it'll hurt ...
Which sector or industry is to be hit? Which one can we afford to lose? Will national interest or political interest win out?
"As a pollster, the first question (to government) would be: Can you win? Following that, whose ox is going to be gored here?"
Once Canada retaliates with trade sanctions, said [pollster Michael] Marzolini [of Pollara Research], some industry or sector "is going to be taking one for the team."
Now, I don't agree with the American position on softwood lumber - NAFTA ruled in our favour (and if I read correctly, just in our favour), regardless of the subsequent WTO ruling. They're thumping us a good one, but Mr. Martin has to have a sound game plan in the event he's going to decide to go all cowboy with any kind of retaliation.
In other words, I'm hoping Paul Martin puts national interest ahead of political interest, and I'm hoping Paul Martin has a sound game plan.
Tags: liberal party, nafta, softwood lumber