Thursday, March 10, 2016

Looking At Other Doors


Today, Justin Trudeau and Barack Obama will trumpet the special relationship Canada and the United States enjoy. But, Tom Walkom writes, that relationship isn't quite so special anymore:

Canada used to be America’s largest trading partner in goods. Now it is not. Since late last year, that honour has consistently gone to China.

As my colleague Jennifer Wells has pointed out, Mexico — whose trade in goods with the U.S. is growing in leaps and bounds — is well on its way to edging Canada out of the number two spot.

The U.S. still accounts for 49 per cent of foreign direct investment in Canada. But even that figure is down from 54 per cent in 2010. 

That was the whole idea behind the Keystone XL pipeline. But the Americans see no need for the pipeline. The world has changed. The United States is now exporting oil.

Labour costs less in Mexico. And, so, the Americans are now turning their gaze south. Mr. Trudeau's reconfiguring of Canada's mission in the Middle East seems to please the Americans. He's signalling that he wants to keep the doors open. 

But he may find that the Americans are looking at other doors.


ron wilton said...

With reference to the 'purpose' of the Keystone XL pipeline, my reading over the years indicates that most, if not all, of the dilbit destined to be transported by KXL comes from oil/tar sands plays owned by the Koch brothers.

The refineries at the terminus of KXL are in Texas in the Texas Foreign Trade Zone (product upgraded and refined in the TFTZ will be for export only and not subject to value added taxation) are also owned by the Koch brothers.

The Albertabit would displace product presently being shipped in from Mexico and Venezuela and the lower price of the Alberta product would save/gain the Koch brothers an additional $2 billion a year at today's prices.

The refined product is mostly high grade diesel and jet fuel which has been contracted by Valero and others for shipment to Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe.

The mountains of dirty burning petroleum coke left over from the refining process is and will be sold by the company of a third Koch brother to India, China and surprisingly Nova Scotia and apparently New Brunswick in the not too distant future, to fire their coal fired electricity generators.

KXL appears to have a lot of benefit for a select few Canadians (the CEO of Trans Canada 'earns' $38 thousand a day already) and even fewer Americans and the free furnace fuel that Venezuela currently provides to thousands of poor Americans will be terminated if they are replaced by Albertabit.

Owen Gray said...

It really is quite disturbing to discover how the Koch brothers operate, Ron. They get rich and leave a mess behind in their wake.