Free Trade, Eh?
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Oh Canada! I'm jealous of our northern neighbors. Today, the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Canada and Colombia went into effect. Canadian workers and businesses get to reap the benefits of lower duties and expanded trade, while Americans wait for Washington to act on the pending FTAs with Colombia, South Korea, and Panama.
Colombia, get ready and get excited. As Washington twiddles its fingers, here is my top ten list of the greatest Canadian exports*:
- Wayne Gretzky bobble heads.
- William Shatner--both Captain Kirk, T.J. Hooker, and Denny Crane versions.
- Agricultural products like beef, pork, wheat, and barley.
- Canadian Club whiskey mixed with Canada Dry Ginger Ale.
- Justin Bieber--sorry moms and dads.
- Timber and paper.
- Mounties--this, not this.
- Mining equipment and off-road dump trucks.
- And last (but never, ever least) the greatest Canadian export [drumroll, please] ... RUSH (the band).
In all seriousness, not passing the Colombia FTA hurts American companies and workers. According to U.S. Wheat Associates, "the United States could lose $100 million in wheat sales each year as a result of our tariff disadvantage." And staff from the House Ways and Means committee point out that "in the past two years, U.S. farmers and ranchers have lost more than $1 billion in sales to Colombia."
For more on how trade helps your local area, go to TradeSupportsJobs.com.
So hey, Washington, let's take a lesson from "America's Hat" by not letting American companies and workers fall further behind globally. Get those pending FTAs passed.
*With a little help from Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.