Some Thoughts on Canada-United States Sectoral Free Trade
Vernon V. Kakoschke was a lawyer in the law department of Canadian Pacific.
This short essay examines the policy considerations underlying sectoral free trade with the United States. It identifies various issues that must be addressed before any decision to negotiate is taken. The author, an official of the Department of External Affairs, points out that tariffs alone are no longer the principal means of regulating trade among industrialized countries. There are many non-tariff barriers, ranging from buy-national provisions in government procurement to government-regulated pricing that also need to be considered.
The introduction to this essay contains an excellent summary of the history of Canadian trade policy. This historical perspective is essential to an understanding of the current positions of Canada and the United States on trade liberalization. The three sectors that are considered prime candidates for sectoral free trade are urban transportation equipment, petrochemical products, and computer services. Each sector is briefly reviewed and the opportunities for achieving some progress in trade negotiations are assessed.
In light of the upcoming trade talks with the United States, this booklet contains an intelligent and realistic discussion of contemporary issues surrounding one possible free trade arrangement.