Friday, June 08, 2007
FREE TRADE TO BOOST CANADIAN COMPETITIVENESS
Financial Post reports that Canadian Trade Ministry announced a new strategy containing free trade agreements at an accelerated pace to help boost access to the market which Canadian businesses penetrate. The strategy is welcome since commerical access is about to boost the competitiveness of Canadian companies to compete internationally and bind closer commercial ties with international partners, enabling to look-up for new markets through easier access to key markets. It is also essential to note that protectionism does not serve its meaning as the trade benefits and competitive advantage boost growth and performance of the economy, further adding value to the economy competing on international markets. Previously, numerous empirical studies have shown a positive impact of free trade on performance and several other areas such as environmental questions. In Is Free Trade Good for the Environment (2001), Walter Antweiler, Brian R. Copeland and R. Scott Taylor questioned the effect of economic openness and international trade flows on global pollution, based on the observation of 43 countries from 1971-1996. They concluded that if trade liberalization increases the GDP per capita 1 percent, the concentration of pollution decreases 1 percent (link). Nevertheless, free trade agreements entail a positive impact on environmental sustainability.