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Softwood lumber dispute

nymph
August 26th, 2005, 03:25 PM
U.S. to Canada: Trade 'tirades' unproductive
Get back to the table on softwood, U.S. ambassador urges negotiators

Andrew Duffy
The Ottawa Citizen

Friday, August 26, 2005

CREDIT: Chris Mikula, The Ottawa Citizen
'Sometimes the U.S. becomes an easy target up here. I think that's unfortunate,' U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins told the Citizen in a wideranging discussion yesterday.

U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins says Canadian politicians should stop their "emotional tirades" and order the country's trade representatives back to the bargaining table to reach a final settlement on softwood lumber.

In a meeting with the Citizen editorial board, Mr. Wilkins said Canadian officials should embrace negotiations, rather than trade litigation, to settle the softwood dispute. Otherwise, he suggested, they risk a trade war with multiple fronts.

"I don't think we need to go down another avenue, but we could," Mr. Wilkins warned. "We could start talking about import barriers by Canada on certain goods, like dairy and egg products and things of that nature, and broadcast regulations that are exempt from NAFTA."

While Prime Minister Paul Martin and the Liberal government pondered retaliatory action against the U.S., Mr. Wilkins told the Citizen that he was disappointed Canadian trade officials refused to meet this week to discuss softwood.

That meeting, scheduled for Monday in Ottawa, was cancelled after International Trade Minister Jim Peterson said he needed time to consider all his options, including trade sanctions, in the wake of Washington's refusal to accept the decision of a key trade panel ruling.

"Emotional press conferences are not going to settle the issue," Mr. Wilkins said. "Canada needs to come back to the table. We need to close the door, roll up our sleeves and negotiate as need be, with good faith, and bring finality to it."

Simmering for decades, the softwood lumber dispute is now full boil after Washington announced it would ignore another trade ruling in Canada's favour -- this time from the final court of appeal established by the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mr. Wilkins characterized that decision as a ruling that does not bring finality to the dispute: "It wasn't a settlement, it was a ruling. You have a difference in legal opinion."

The U.S. ambassador, who assumed his new post two months ago, said Washington has not ignored the ruling, but holds a different legal opinion about its impact.

It's the position of the U.S. government, he said, that the 2004 ruling of the U.S. International Trade Commission, an independent federal agency, remains the binding decision in the case.

That ruling, based on a U.S. investigation of the softwood market, concluded that provincial subsidies give Canadian producers an unfair advantage over their U.S. counterparts.

Mr. Wilkins conceded that the Canadian position may have been strengthened by the most recent NAFTA ruling, but it does not settle the question, he said.

"You might argue that this recent ruling bolsters your position and puts you in a stronger position. And that's fine if you argue that. But at least let's talk about it," he said yesterday.

It's unclear how a new round of negotiations on softwood lumber would proceed. But Mr. Wilkins said the latest NAFTA ruling should not be regarded as the starting point for any renewed discussions.

"This is obviously a complex issue, it has been going on for two decades. So I don't think you use that, the ruling of that panel on that one issue. ... I don't think you use that as the genesis of the negotiations.

"These negotiations have been going on before that ruling; they'll go on after that ruling. But the entire issue needs to be negotiated."

Many of the trade rulings that went in Canada's favour, he noted, have concluded that the provinces subsidize their lumber industries. That fact, he said, needs to be discussed before a final deal can be reached on softwood.

In 1993, NAFTA and WTO trade panels both found that while the Canadian lumber industry is subsidized, that assistance is not substantial enough to justify U.S. tariffs.

The prime minister has called the U.S. position on softwood "untenable" and Industry Minister David Emerson has started to draw up a list of U.S. goods on which to impose tariffs in retaliation for the American action.

Mr. Wilkins said yesterday that a trade war is not in the best interests of either country, given that the U.S. now buys 86 per cent of Canada's exports.

What's more, Mr. Wilkins said, it's important to keep the softwood lumber dispute in perspective. Softwood represents three or four per cent of the value of Canadian goods sent to the U.S.

Canadian exports to the U.S. have almost tripled since the free trade deal was signed, he said, fuelling a $43-billion trade surplus in this country. That Canadian advantage includes a $7-billion annual trade surplus in softwood lumber.

"Your softwood lumber exports are at a 10-year high because of our booming housing market," he said. "I'm aware of the criticism that many folks have been levelling against the U.S. in the last few days, but I think it's important to keep it in perspective: We have a great bilateral trade market and agreement.

"And I don't think this one issue should tarnish that or adversely affect that. I think it would be a mistake for both sides."

Although the dispute mechanisms established by NAFTA have not been able to settle the softwood issue, that does not mean the trade agreement should be discarded, Mr. Wilkins said.

"It has put food on the table for a lot of Canadians and a lot of Americans," he said. "If you didn't have NAFTA, you'd probably have a lot of different duties imposed on a lot of different goods that now you do not have."

The appearance before the editorial board touched on many topics. Here are some of the ambassador's thoughts:

- On the relationship between Canadians and Americans:

"The biggest myth is the fact that Canadians and Americans don't get along, don't trust each other and don't like each other. I've not found that in my travels throughout Canada. What I have found is understanding, co-operation, collaboration and friendship."

- On links between Canada's refusal to participate in the Iraq war and missile defence and the U.S. administration's current position on softwood lumber:

"I don't see any links. This issue (softwood lumber) has been going on for decades."

- On allegations that guns are flooding into Canada's largest city, Toronto, from the U.S.:

"We are concerned about it. We are helping and collaborating with Canadian officials all we can. But I think we have to keep in context that it is, to a large extent, Canadian citizens breaking our laws and breaking Canadian laws to bring guns back into this country."

- On Canada's decriminalization of marijuana:

"It certainly would not occur in the United States, in my opinion, nor would it occur in the state of South Carolina where I am from. ... I don't think the decriminalization of marijuana will be a positive thing. I think it will lead to more crime."

- On the federal commission delving into the deportation from the U.S. of Canadian Maher Arar to Syria:

"The Canadian government has a right to make any inquiry as to its officials that it thinks appropriate. But the decision about deportation was made by the United States government. And we stand behind that."

- On the Canadian penchant for anti-American rhetoric:

"Sometimes the U.S. becomes an easy target up here. I think that's unfortunate, but it happens whether it be a guns issue or a timber issue."

- On his Canadian travels (since Canada Day, Mr. Wilkins has travelled to six provinces and one territory; he plans to visit all provinces by the end of the year):

"It has been a great experience so far," he said. "I'm trying to listen and I'm trying to learn."
© The Ottawa Citizen 2005

Luvmypit
August 26th, 2005, 03:56 PM
They take only the opinion of the US International trade commision because it ruled in their favour but Nafta ahh well what they say doesn't matter b/c well it ruled in our favour. I believe twice. Its weird how its a NAFTA issue but NAfta rulings don't mean anything??? I mean come on.


This has been on the table for decades. I think our government needs to stand up to the US.

Luvmypit
August 26th, 2005, 04:16 PM
Ministers stick to get-tough approach on softwood


FROM CANADIAN PRESS

WINNIPEG — Federal cabinet ministers remained defiant and unwavering today in their tough stand against Washington over the softwood lumber dispute, dismissing a call from the U.S. ambassador to stop their "emotional" comments.

Industry Minister David Emerson said David Wilkins comments, made in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen's editorial board and published today, are hypocritical because they suggest Canada hasn't been serious about negotiating.

The minister said Canadians may need to start gearing up for a trade war with the United States.

"Candidly, Canadians have to decide as a small trading economy, are we going to stand together?' Emerson said at that start of a federal cabinet meeting in Winnipeg.

"Are we going to be stronger than the sum of our parts or are we going to be endlessly bickering amongst ourselves and allowing the bully to basically mop the floor with us?'

Wilkins called on Canada to embrace negotiations rather than trade litigation to settle the softwood dispute, which has escalated following Washington's announcement that it would ignore a NAFTA appeal ruling in Canada's favour.

"Emotional press conferences are not going to settle the issue," he told the Citizen editors. "Canada needs to come back to the table. We need to close the door, roll up our sleeves and negotiate as need be, with good faith, and bring finality to it."

Some cabinet ministers have talked of retaliating with duties on U.S. exports. But Wilkins said Canada is risking a multi-pronged trade war.

Finance Minister Ralph Goodale said Canada needs to be strategic in ensuring any response is effective, but doesn't "have the consequence of shooting ourselves in the foot."

"I don't want to engage in the very kind of excess the ambassador may be inviting,' said Goodale. "I would advise him to take his own advice."

Trade Minister Jim Peterson said the ambassador should tell Washington "that they should not confuse emotion with commitment and determination by Canadians to ensure the NAFTA is respected."

Here here!

chico2
August 26th, 2005, 04:30 PM
Well,since the ruling was for the Canadians,but ignored by the US,maybe we should play hardball and put a heavy tariff(sp?)on California wine or something similar.
We can only be bullied if we allow the US to do it,whining is not going to get us any results.

Rick C
August 26th, 2005, 04:49 PM
If Canada doesn't like being pushed around it shouldn't put itself in a position where it has an 80% dependence on trade with one country.

And most countries would kill for the access we have to that economy in spite of this one trade issue.

Still, if I'm not mistaken, about 25% of American exports go to Canada, so we're not chicken feed on our side either.

Theatening a trade war is a pretty low percentage strategy if you ask me. There's not a lot of good that can come out of it and it merely hurts both parties . . . in this case, one party potentially far more than the other.

But how much more "talking" can you do on this topic?

Its obviously frustrating the USA will not abide by ruling coming out of the NAFTA dispute mechanism, a mechanism which the USA freeling negotiated and freely signed off on.

In that vein, Canadians should understand this really isn't about Canada . . . . its about internal USA politics and there might not be much we can do about that.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

nymph
August 26th, 2005, 05:13 PM
I for one fully support Canadian politicians' decision to get tough with the US.

Enough is enough.

Prin
August 26th, 2005, 06:28 PM
I concur. They lock us out whenever they have the slightest excuse. :rolleyes: Did we close our borders to US beef yet?

Prin
August 26th, 2005, 08:49 PM
I met him in the elevator once. Well, I could have met him. He was so shy and had his head down. Not too inviting. Not how I pictured a politician to be. When you think of politicians, don't you expect them to be extroverts? :rolleyes:

chico2
August 27th, 2005, 08:58 AM
I doubt voting PC and Harper would give Canada a backbone,no party is more US-policy friendly than the PC-party.
Especially since the merger with the former Alliance party.

Prin
August 27th, 2005, 02:06 PM
Ndp!! Ndp!! :)

StaceyB
August 27th, 2005, 02:30 PM
NDP.
Well anyone remember the brown out. Several areas in the U.S. are supplied electricity as well from Canada. I think pretty much all the problems that exist now in Canada, Irac, U.S. and probably more I just can't think of them at the moment, but all can be blamed on Bush and his tactics.
I have removed my comment because I didn't intend on offending anyone. I do still stand by it and it is just my opinion. I believe that these horrible terrorists hate and blame the Bush family so much that as soon as another became president, war was on and they were going to make them pay. I wonder if the same would have happened if someone else would have been in his place, Gore. This is just my opinion and is in no way bashing americans. As far as I am concerned we are all equals.

Karin
August 27th, 2005, 08:19 PM
Last year I was harshly reminded puplicly on this board not to discuss political issues...it was "tabu"...yet the thread continued. I was hurt..

I have bit my tongue since the beginning of this thread. I could add a lot of heat to this fire...but since protocol would ban me now and not others then...all I will say is I am offended by this American bashing thread. Do with this post as you will, I expect it to be deleted. I have said my peace on it.

I lost all concept of border boundries until this thread.

amber416
August 27th, 2005, 08:30 PM
I completely agree Karin....once again reminded that this is not just a pet lover's board and that the rules have fuzzy borders.

Prin
August 27th, 2005, 09:26 PM
Maybe I'm wrong but as I reread this thread, I see wayyy more Canada bashing by Canadians than anything else... I think the overwhelming majority feel that the whole thing is because our PM has no cahones. :confused:

Karin
August 27th, 2005, 10:21 PM
Seeing as we are in the off-topic area, I can't see what the problem with the thread could be.

Karin, are you aware of the softwood lumber dispute between are nations? We aren't crapping on the US in general, just the tactics of this particular administrations' trade dispute settlements.

Surely you would agree that the Bush administration has been protectionist with all the US trade partners.

The fact is a NAFTA arbitration panel, an appeal tribunal of the panel's decision and the WTO have all ruled in favour of Canada in this dispute and the US gov't has illegally charged 5 billion in duties. THey have been ordered to pay it back and they have refused because they "disagree with the findings".

Whole communities are turning into ghost towns where the forestry industry is located here as the mills go are going out of business.

You should also want to know that the Florida citrus industry is at the top of the list of targets for Canadian retaliation. I hope you and your family are not tied to that industry because Canada buys a serious chunk of the Florida crop, it won't be pretty.


This "Off Topic" conference was added after I was told to not get involved or speak of politics here...

Were you here then? I feel squelched....always have been. Why do I stick around a Canadian pet board? Until now...I question that myself. All this time I have weathered many a board storm here..I kept my mouth shut since so ordered...

I have no qualifications to agrue my positition here...except I am proud of were I hail from.

Give me some stats too on the citrus industry that you rant on...are you aware of the impact the hurricane season and the following harsh winter season had on our citrus?

So many people think Florida is one big beach with Mickey Mouse sipping orange juice under a palm tree...get real.


I am upset by this thread. I am going to take the high road. I have been insulted from my homeland down to heritage....

Oh, please do keep your beef.

amber416
August 28th, 2005, 01:29 AM
All i'm saying is i think if i started a thread entitled "Is Canada a bully?" and then went on to make negative comments about Canada, there would be problems. I have seen it happen before.

StaceyB
August 28th, 2005, 01:43 AM
I don't see americans as being any different than canadians or anyone else. Our countries are very intertwined and decisions made by your government don't just affect you but they also affect us and our way of living. The problems we have are strictly political. We/I have about as much respect for your government as I have for ours, not very much. It really has nothing to do with its citizens. We are all just stuck in the middle with little or no say as to what happens.

marko
August 28th, 2005, 06:55 AM
This is purely a policy issue because no rules were broken. Hot topics were always grey area and now it's time to change policy. Decisions on the issue will be made in the next week or so.

And so the question is already being considered, do we allow hot topics on Pets.ca? Hot topics would include politics, religion, death penalty, abortion etc....they are all hot topics so they all stay or they all go.

That said I agree that the title itself is provocative and unfair because it categorizes a whole country and so it will be edited....I hope the original poster accepts the reasoning behind this.

For now the thread will stay open - please if this thread offends you, just stay away from it or put posters on your ignore list.

We expect this thread to stay civil.

and we appreciate any comments or concerns about our board policy to be sent directly to me by pm or email. marko@pets.ca

This is a very important issue for the board so we would appreciate just a bit of patience on this issue.

Thanks in advance,

Marko

chico2
August 28th, 2005, 08:57 AM
Karin,I suppose I would feel the same as you was anyone bashing Canada/Sweden,but we are not bashing the people of the US,more like our own whimpy government.
I don't know enough about the issue of softwood lumber,but I know the effect it has had on people,people just like you and me.
Boycotting the citrus industry would only hurt an already hammered Florida and the people,who after one disaster after the other,seems to be able to pick up and start all over again.
I have always admired the patriotism in the US in our many visits,some people look at it as a fault,but personally I believe we here in Canada could use some of that pride in our own country.

badger
August 28th, 2005, 09:02 AM
Whatever 'stick' we take to the US, they have a bigger one. Martin (and I'm not a huge fan, although I'd vote for him to shut out Harper) has to be very careful not to unleash something he can't control afterwards.

I once met a top trade negotiator in Ottawa who said the US side were tough as nails, not bullies so much as very very determined. The irony is that when they were negotiating the trade agreement the US fought the dispute mechanism right up to the end, because they knew one day it would find against them, as with softwood lumber.

Just like their objection to the International Court and Kyoto, their number one goal is not to foster cooperation, not to 'make a better world', not to increase the flow of goods from poor countries (god forbid), but to serve US interests. If Canada decided to go this route, we would be dumping years of diplomacy and goodwill and destroy any leverage we have in the rest of the world. So for the moment, I support Martin. For the moment.

Let us not forget that the US has thrown its weight behind thousands of good causes (even now, despite the anti-internationalist tide) and has produced brilliant scientists, wonderful writers and thinkers. All in a little over two hundred years. Not bad.

badger
August 28th, 2005, 10:04 AM
Yes, but what does Harper stand for? Cutting taxes is the only identifiable policy, everything else is bluster (as with this issue) and lost causes (abortion, capital punishment, rescinding of same-sex marriage). Mulroney looks like a mental giant next to this guy. Either he has us fooled or is poorly advised, because with all the opportunities he's had lately to get his ideas into the public arena (as an alternative to the scandal-plagued, weary Liberals), he's striking out, sorry. I would definitely expect Martin to cast his net far and wide for ideas, this should not be a partisan issue. In fact, I'll bet he's been talking to Reisman, Mulroney, Carney, the original negotiating team, right now. Probably not Chrétien :).

chico2
August 28th, 2005, 10:47 AM
db7,you have to be kidding :evil: If we want to destroy everything Canada stands for,elect Harper(or whoever replaces him)!!
There was one politician who stood out in a crowd and that was Trudeau,not afraid to speak his mind,whether he was right or not.
I know most of you will shudder but to me(at the time a newcomer to Canada)he was 100% Canadian!

chico2
August 28th, 2005, 04:25 PM
Well,if I am not misstaken that was during the Nixon era,anyone not agreeing with the US government in those days,were considered a "commie"!

Prin
August 28th, 2005, 10:59 PM
Electing a conservative govt next might improve trade stuff with the US but it will ruin everything else we have. No thanks!! :)

chico2
August 29th, 2005, 08:06 AM
Well,the ruination of everything we hold dear in Canada started with the infamous Brian Mulrooney,GST,Free Trade etc...was picked up and continued by Harris and his cohorts in Ontario.
As for Trudeau,he certainly put Canada on the map,made the rest of the world realize Canada is an independant country not part of the US :D

nymph
August 29th, 2005, 03:24 PM
Dear God I didn't start this thread as American bashing. I am however extremely troubled and frustrated, like many Canadians, by the lack of respect from US (the Bush administration to be more specific) to an international regulartory body like the NAFTA panel. I am particularly enraged by the new US to Canada ambassador's comment to Canadian politicians' reaction as an "emotional tirade" and that they should stop their "emotional tirades", and return to the bargaining table. Being a member of NAFTA, why does the US not abide by its ruling, TWICE?! Exactly how would you label this type of behavior?

I'm sorry that my original title offended you personally. I should have said the Bush administration instead, but softwood lumber dispute would do just fine.

jjgeonerd
August 29th, 2005, 03:53 PM
Could someone please give a SHORT explanation of the soft wood dispute? Is it just the US putting tarriffs on Canadian wood?

BTW...I'm American and I am not offended by this thread. It is just a political issue between our 2 coutries. I would have to say that Karin and Amber416 overreacted a bit. I did not read any american bashing anywhere in the thread.

Schwinn
August 29th, 2005, 03:55 PM
I think we should take a stand based solely on prinicpal. The US government has done this before, running to the UN to enforce the rules, but when they went against them (Iraq is an illegal action), the US ignores it. The US government seems to feel the rules don't apply to them. Because they are the most powerful country in the world, they defy anyone to go against them. Personally, I find it annoying. Just like with the mad cow thing. The cow that was found in Alberta was born in the US, and, to top it off, an internal investigation showed that there is a great number of cows in the US who are suspected of having mad cow and swept under the rug.

I always felt like the US was the self-proclaimed hall monitor who tattled on everyone, but didn't feel like they had to follow the rules.

Rick C
August 29th, 2005, 05:29 PM
Dear God I didn't start this thread as American bashing. I am however extremely troubled and frustrated, like many Canadians, by the lack of respect from US (the Bush administration to be more specific) to an international regulartory body like the NAFTA panel. I am particularly enraged by the new US to Canada ambassador's comment to Canadian politicians' reaction as an "emotional tirade" and that they should stop their "emotional tirades", and return to the bargaining table. Being a member of NAFTA, why does the US not abide by its ruling, TWICE?! Exactly how would you label this type of behavior?

I'm sorry that my original title offended you personally. I should have said the Bush administration instead, but softwood lumber dispute would do just fine.

There have actually been four major softwood lumber disputes with the USA since 1982.

To characterize this as essentially a dispute with the Bush administration would be inaccurate.

In 1996, after further disputes with the Clinton administration, a five year deal was struck between the two countries on softwood lumber.

Upon expiry of that deal in 2001, the USA imposed tough penalties on Canadian softwood exports.

US lumber companies have to harvest from private lands for higher "stumpage fees" while they contend Canadian companies harvesting from crown (government) land are unfairly subsidized. The USA feels the Canadian governments should charge higher fees to Canadian lumber companies, matching what American companies have to pay.

The USA also doesn't like agreements that guarantee employment in certain communities wholly dependent on forestry, feeling that is also a subsidy.

In 2003, a NAFTA dispute panel agreed that Canada subsidizes softwood lumber but said the punitive penalties imposed by the USA were too high.

A NAFTA dispute mechanism ruled in favour of Canada earlier this month. The USA refuses to recognize the decision.

I've said before in this thread the softwood lumber dispute is more about internal politics of the USA, appeasing certain special interest groups and certain regions of the country, than it is about Canada.

Obviously American consumers would broadly benefit from lower lumber costs just as they would broadly benefit from an integrated cattle industry.

The reason certain American producers and regions want to exclude Canadian imports is to keep prices higher for American consumers. They have the right to think that way. This issue is whether or not they have the right to act that way, particularly in the face of signed agreements.

We shouldn't take the high road though as its actually easier to export many products to the USA than it is from one Canadian province to another.

Quebec is certainly protective of its dairy industry as one example.

The US government has done this before, running to the UN to enforce the rules, but when they went against them (Iraq is an illegal action), the US ignores it.

The UN is a corrupt fiasco in danger of fading into obscurity and irrelevance just as its predecessor, the League of Nations, did in the 1930's. Then, as is the case now, the League of Nations failed to recognize and deal with the concerns of the major powers of the day and ended up being ignored.

And that's what will happen to the UN as well unless it addresses the ongoing concerns of the major powers that fund its very existence.

And deals with its own monumental internal corruption under the failed leadership of Kofi Annan.

On another topic, American bashing is a bit of a Canadian sport and has been for decades as there is really only one thing this deeply divided country can actually agree on and that is that we're not Americans and don't want to be Americans.

And, of course, ignoring Canada's modest earnest attempts at deviating from the American norm, all in the name of national identity, is something of a USA sport too. :highfive:

Lastly, the only intelligent thing that piker Trudeau ever did or said, aside from proclaiming government doesn't belong in the bedrooms of the nation, was: "Living next to you (America) is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt."

Like softwood lumber.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

Schwinn
August 29th, 2005, 05:46 PM
The US government has done this before, running to the UN to enforce the rules, but when they went against them (Iraq is an illegal action), the US ignores it.

The UN is a corrupt fiasco in danger of fading into obscurity and irrelevance just as its predecessor, the League of Nations, did in the 1930's. Then, as is the case now, the League of Nations failed to recognize and deal with the concerns of the major powers of the day and ended up being ignored.

And that's what will happen to the UN as well unless it addresses the ongoing concerns of the major powers that fund its very existence.


Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

That may be, and I agree that the UN has been largely ineffectual, but part of the problem is when the US pressures the UN into doling out punishments and embargos, demanding that they be enforced, but then when they do not agree with the decisions, refuse to recognize thier authority, it is this very hypocrisy that is making the UN ineffectual (realizing there are other issues as well). To me, the US government sees themselves as the only rightous authority, and refuses to recognize the wishes of other countries which may go against thier own. While I believe that all countries have (and should have) a protectionist attitude to thier own interests, the US government takes it to a level of arrogance that equals to "go against us at your own peril".

kandy
August 29th, 2005, 05:51 PM
I have to say that I am really disappointed to read this thread.

Although I don't agree with everything he's done, to blame Bush for 9/11 is not merely ridiculous, it's insulting. Hell, while you're at it, why not blame him for global warming, poverty in every third world country, hurricanes, tornados, and everything/anything else you can think of???

I didn't realize that bashing America was an accepted sport, although that seems to be the favorite sport of a lot of countries these days. Doesn't matter that the US is the first one to send money, supplies, medicine, etc., etc., in time of disaster - we're still the enemy. I guess things will never change.

I for one am proud to be American!!!!! :usa:

I will probably get banned for this - but I really don't care right now, since this thread has shown me what you guys really think of Americans and I won't be back anyway!

I was always taught not to bite the hand that feeds you! It seems like Canada wants to bite us pretty hard and I say go ahead - bite off your nose to spite your own face. :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

bye. :mad:

Schwinn
August 29th, 2005, 06:09 PM
I have to say that I am really disappointed to read this thread.

Although I don't agree with everything he's done, to blame Bush for 9/11 is not merely ridiculous, it's insulting. Hell, while you're at it, why not blame him for global warming, poverty in every third world country, hurricanes, tornados, and everything/anything else you can think of???

I guess I missed the part that blamed him for 9/11.

I didn't realize that bashing America was an accepted sport, although that seems to be the favorite sport of a lot of countries these days. Doesn't matter that the US is the first one to send money, supplies, medicine, etc., etc., in time of disaster - we're still the enemy. I guess things will never change.

Just as putting down Canada is a favourite sport of a lot of US politicians? Oh, and as has already been mentioned, it's a discussion about the US government, not a bashing of the USA.



I will probably get banned for this - but I really don't care right now, since this thread has shown me what you guys really think of Americans and I won't be back anyway!

Over react much? I guess we should sit back and look at the decimation of our cattle industry and the fact that the US government chooses to ignore the ruling of the body they agreed on, and just go, "Aw, silly USA". Sorry, sometimes we get frustrated when we feel like our position at the table is always bent over.

I was always taught not to bite the hand that feeds you! It seems like Canada wants to bite us pretty hard and I say go ahead - bite off your nose to spite your own face. :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:


And what is it we're being fed again? I mean, besides BS? I'm getting tired of Canada being treated like a third world country by the US. While you're an important trading partner, you certainly aren't our life support system. We need you as much as you need us.

Look, kandy, this is a discussion about the softwood dispute, and we're debating it. As has been mentioned several times, it's not a condemnation of the citizens, but rather the policies. I'm sorry you feel so offended, but if you're that sensitive, maybe you should stick to the safer forums.

jjgeonerd
August 29th, 2005, 06:15 PM
I have to say that I am really disappointed to read this thread.

Although I don't agree with everything he's done, to blame Bush for 9/11 is not merely ridiculous, it's insulting. Hell, while you're at it, why not blame him for global warming, poverty in every third world country, hurricanes, tornados, and everything/anything else you can think of???

I didn't realize that bashing America was an accepted sport, although that seems to be the favorite sport of a lot of countries these days. Doesn't matter that the US is the first one to send money, supplies, medicine, etc., etc., in time of disaster - we're still the enemy. I guess things will never change.

I for one am proud to be American!!!!! :usa:

I will probably get banned for this - but I really don't care right now, since this thread has shown me what you guys really think of Americans and I won't be back anyway!

I was always taught not to bite the hand that feeds you! It seems like Canada wants to bite us pretty hard and I say go ahead - bite off your nose to spite your own face. :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

bye. :mad:

Easy there. Who blamed Bush for 9/11 or anything else? This is just a discussion about one US policy. Everything said about the UN is true.

Geez..when did we (US citizens) get so damn sensitive!!!??? :confused:

EDIT: Oops...sorry...I just saw that StacyB blamed everything on Bush. That IS ridiculous. Everyone else has been fine though. I still stand by my sensitive comment though.

Rick C
August 29th, 2005, 06:24 PM
That may be, and I agree that the UN has been largely ineffectual, but part of the problem is when the US pressures the UN into doling out punishments and embargos, demanding that they be enforced, but then when they do not agree with the decisions, refuse to recognize thier authority, it is this very hypocrisy that is making the UN ineffectual (realizing there are other issues as well). To me, the US government sees themselves as the only rightous authority, and refuses to recognize the wishes of other countries which may go against thier own. While I believe that all countries have (and should have) a protectionist attitude to thier own interests, the US government takes it to a level of arrogance that equals to "go against us at your own peril".

Since they are the largest economy in the world, about 50% of the global economy in fact, you probably just notice it more. . . . .

Its true Americans think they are a bastion of free enterprise but they're just as fond of subsidies and protectionism as many other economies. American steel and rice are examples.

But they're broadly not as fond of protectionism as inefficient and floundering socialist economies like Germany and France and not as fond as leech-like economies like China and India which exclude large swaths of foreign ownership while demanding access to America.

Politically, to me, Americans see themselves as the number one target in the world and it wouldn't matter if they're isolationist or expansionist because that wouldn't change either way.

And not only do they see it that way, its also the truth.

America really is the number one target in the world whether it gets in some ones way or stays out of their way, something that's hard for critics to wrap their heads around. America is criticized if it gets involved and criticized if it doesn't. That's just the facts of life.

So the USA acts accordingly to its interests and in many ways I don't blame them.

I see no point, as an example, with the USA agreeing to have American soldiers eligible to be tried in the World Court given the potential political nature of charges that might be brought and tried. It would end up being a farce of the first order and you can see that coming a mile away.

By the way, I'm no fan of the Bush administration, calling for him to be defeated in both 2000 and 2004.

The only policy of his administration I've agreed with is the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, even if they've bungled the aftermath of the former. :eek: Its a region that badly needed a fork stuck in it and stirred.

Its tough being the global cop. But its a job the UN apparently doesn't want.

And what is it we're being fed again? I mean, besides BS? I'm getting tired of Canada being treated like a third world country by the US. While you're an important trading partner, you certainly aren't our life support system. We need you as much as you need us.

Like I said in an earlier post, 82% of our exports go to America while 25% of their exports come to Canada. Its far and away the largest trading arrangement in the world and each is the number one trading partner of the other.

But its still 82% versus 25%. A trade war isn't the brightest thing to bring on.

Kandy, put your head into that of a Canadian. Its hard not to be Americans. That's it in a nutshell. But we work damn hard not to be Americans and it consumes us sometimes, occasionally to the point of irrationality. As Trudeau, that butthead, once said, you twitch and we get trampled so our minds are always working at figuring out the differences. Trudeau, I believe, also defined it as a national inferiority complex. Canada is kind of getting beyond that though. Now all we need is a national government worthy of us

My thoughts.

PS - I believe it was Noam Chomsky, an American, who blamed America for 9/11.

I'm going home now. This is enough work at the office for me today!! :highfive:

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

mastifflover
August 29th, 2005, 06:26 PM
On another topic, American bashing is a bit of a Canadian sport and has been for decades as there is really only one thing this deeply divided country can actually agree on and that is that we're not Americans and don't want to be Americans.
And, of course, ignoring Canada's modest earnest attempts at deviating from the American norm, all in the name of national identity, is something of a USA sport too.
I do not hate Americans but I do think Bush is a total loser. He thinks he is in charge of the world and will not listen to any governing bodies if they don't agree. Hence the softwood lumber dispute just like when he said screw you to the United Nations. He has also had his fair share of things to say about Canadians because we would not jump into a war that was not sanctioned. Again not giving him his way. Sorry but we are our own country and not the USA. This is just some things that my friends from Oz were saying when they were here was that they also feel Bush thinks he is the ruler of the free world, and there were some other comment I would not put on a public forum. Bush has in his term insulted most countries and hence the attitude towards Americans, which I don't agree with but he is your president and he just does not know when to keep his big mouth shut. If this softwood dispute was going the other way you can bet he would be saying we have to listen to NAFTA but, it is not and George can do as he pleases, so he thinks.

Prin
August 29th, 2005, 07:41 PM
Ruin everything..... like destroy Liberal corruption, destroy wait-times in healthcare, destroy the debt, destroy air pollution, destroy taxes......
Take away basic rights and freedoms, send thousands of young girls to back yard clinics or let their boyfriends "take care of it" instead of allowing abortions, destroy our health care system, and if you think they'll get rid of taxes, you probably haven't listened to every politician's speech ever spoken. They all say that. ALL.

Kandy please don't leave. I did see the remark about Bush being responsible for 9-11 too, but that doesn't reflect everybody's opinion here. :) I do think he is responsible for all those tornadoes you have in the states... :D Kidding!

On American forums they probably don't bash Canada because we seem so small and usually so quiet, whereas up here, there's America all over everything. That's why people up here get so passionate about it, I guess.

db7
August 29th, 2005, 10:21 PM
Prin, rest assured, the Conservative party will not revisit the abortion issue. The social conservatives in the party lost that battle at the founding convention. It'll never happen.
To quote Harper delivering his keynote address to the national Conservative convention ""as prime minister, I will not bring forth legislation on the issue of abortion."

You've been listening to CBC too much methinks.

I'm sorry that you are so jaded that you don'tthink the Tories are sincere about tax reduction. THough I understand it, having to live through a decade of broken liberal promises, lies, deceit and corruption.

amber416
August 29th, 2005, 11:46 PM
[COLOR=Red]On another topic, American bashing is a bit of a Canadian sport and has been for decades as there is really only one thing this deeply divided country can actually agree on and that is that we're not Americans and don't want to be Americans.



Are you serious? That is sad, and i would recommend you all find something better to do with your time if that is the case. I don't support Bush-- never have and i never will-- and i even understand those that feel real hatred for him. However, i have to take the bad with the good...America has done some AMAZING things and that cannot be disputed. We have an amazing heritage and we have done amazing things to benefit other countries that lack our so-called "power". We make mistakes and our government certainly seems to act selfishly at times, but i am proud to be an American, just as i hope you all are proud to be from Canada.

I don't think you should be telling people not to be sensitive, that this is just a debate, because it is not. It may have started that way but it has since been a debate sprinkled with offensive remarks by some and i hold to what i said earlier about this being closed if it were a negative thread about your country (no, i'm not going to start one, i don't really care to say negative things about a country i do not belong to). I for one, am not offended by what you are saying, although i understand why others are, but just because i choose to bite my tongue when it comes to things i could be saying about this topic does not mean anyone else should have to. I am outnumbered afterall :) I just still remember being lectured by people on this board-- and watching others be lectured-- about playing nice, and being sensitive. I just don't see why we have to sugar coat the way we tell people they are being irresponsible and cruel by not providing their dying animal with vet care or for needlessly adding to the pet population, but not when dealing with issues like this.

Prin
August 30th, 2005, 12:54 AM
But I think one of the problems that has arisen is a result of the fact that Canadians are patriotic in a completely different way than Americans are. It's hard to explain. We love our country, but we're much more relaxed in our expression and in defending it. I think the stuff said about Americans wouldn't offend us, had the thread been reversed, but at the same time, being that you are more sensitive about your country, I think we should respect that. I think all Canadians should already be aware this difference and should try not to offend our American pets.ca friends. ;)

chico2
August 30th, 2005, 09:18 AM
Thank you Rick for explaining the Softwood lumber dispute..!
Kandy I am sorry you feel offened,you should certainly be proud to be an American as we are to be Canadians.
I don't believe we were bashing Americans,who as a people are not different from us,we all want the same..
I have lived and visited many places in Europe and in most places there is a love/hate relationship towards Americans,they will welcome the American $$$ with open arms and then complain because the Americans are loud :D
In France there is an open dislike of America,but yet,they are open to anything American in regards to movies,music and tourism sort of a doublestandard.
When disasters of any kind happens in the world,the US is expected to take the leadership,we are not asking China or any other country,but quick to condemn the US if anything goes awry,like the Iraqi war,where thousands of young Americans are paying with their lives.
I feel for the American people,who have to send their sons to war,have no universal healthcare,have one natural disaster after the other but always manages to dig themselves out and still wave the American flag :usa: :ca:
I admit to being ignorant to the politics between our two countries,to me the people of the US are our friends and neighbors,but each country has to look after their own interests.

mastifflover
August 30th, 2005, 10:33 AM
Just to clarify the red highlighted portion of my posted was taken from a post of RickC's. But I do feel that the U.S gov't bashes us whenever they can yes some American's do bash us but then some Canadians bash Americans. But I think most are referring to the Government and Bush. But with that said with all the devestation caused by the hurricanes, George might want to reconsider our softwood lumber. Then again maybe we don't want to sell it to him now.

Schwinn
August 30th, 2005, 10:37 AM
Well, I'm going to apologize as I somehow missed the 9/11 comment. That's ridiculous. Regardless of the reasons, the bottom line is that was done by some psycho-path using his religion as an excuse.

Again, I think it is silly to be personally offended by anything that was said here (with the exception of the above). We are debating the policies of the government, not the people.

Again, Rick, I agree with you to a point. Sometimes the US is damned if they do, damned if they don't. But I feel that under the current administration it has been taken to the extreme. The last 5 years have been the perfect opportunity for the UN to actually play the role they were meant to, and to finally be given the role and authority they were meant to. It is up to the countries who make up the UN to ensure that that happens. By thumbing thier noses at the decisions of the UN, whether it be the US or any other country, only undermines the UN even more. The countries that make up the council should be leading by example. A decision was made, and the US decided to ignore that decision. Do we blame the UN for being ineffectual, or the US for undermining thier authority? The US bombed Iraq for ignoring the decisions of the UN. What does that mean when they punish a country for flaunting the rules in the same way they themselves did? And what should be done? Yes, I'm sure we will find ourselves being squeezed if we choose to enter a trade war with the US, but I also think someone has to stand up to this administration. Also, I think that we hold more clout with our natural resources than we give ourselves credit for.

mastifflover
August 30th, 2005, 11:07 AM
Schwinn I have to agree with you we have great natural resources. Yes GWB thinks he is above all, he does not have to abide by rulings but if we did not abide by a ruling would he be going to war with us. I hope not but this guy is a loose cannon and I am so glad that I do not live in the U.S. under his leadership. He has made the U.S. an even bigger target for terrorisim, I am glad we disassociated ourselves from his war in Iraq in fact I am proud that we stood up and did not buckle to pressure from the U.S. when GWB thought he could intimidate us into supporting his war. We should be proud of being Canadian as Americans should be proud as well of their heritage.

nymph
August 30th, 2005, 12:28 PM
Swchinn said it: we should debate solely on priciples. If this dispute happens between any other 2 countries I would feel the same way.

Rick C
August 30th, 2005, 01:45 PM
Schwinn I have to agree with you we have great natural resources. Yes GWB thinks he is above all, he does not have to abide by rulings but if we did not abide by a ruling would he be going to war with us. I hope not but this guy is a loose cannon and I am so glad that I do not live in the U.S. under his leadership. He has made the U.S. an even bigger target for terrorisim, I am glad we disassociated ourselves from his war in Iraq in fact I am proud that we stood up and did not buckle to pressure from the U.S. when GWB thought he could intimidate us into supporting his war. We should be proud of being Canadian as Americans should be proud as well of their heritage.

Bush was actually the guy pushing, via the USA department of Agriculture, to get the ban on Canadian cattle lifted but was stymied by politically motivated judicial rulings, special interest groups and elected representatives.

In that dispute, he was a friend of Canada and helped lift much of the ban.

He's also standing in the way of the USA getting tough with China in spite of that country's brazen attempts to block foreign ownership of its industries while demanding access to America.

Its convenient, I suppose, to have a particular demon to focus attention on - witness the focus the NHLPA put on Gary Bettman while never mentioning a single NHL owner during the last lockout even though Bettman was simply driving the owners agenda - but it really doesn't add up in this case.

In fact, the impetus for the softwood dispute appears to be coming from sources in the western USA, like senators and members of the house of representatives and special interest groups and not the White House in particular.

But then, we wouldn't really know for sure since our Prime Minister refuses to pick up the phone and call Bush to ask, now three weeks or so and counting while your do-nothing PM sits on his fat butt and watches Rome burn.

Again, I'm no fan of Bush and think the religious overtones of his term in office are uniquely dangerous to all of our freedoms which is why I never wanted him elected in the first place, but if I wanted to solve the softwood lumber dispute, I'd probably be aiming a little lower for the people driving the dispute and aiming at Bush for help in resolving it, just as he resolved the cattle dispute.

The last 5 years have been the perfect opportunity for the UN to actually play the role they were meant to, and to finally be given the role and authority they were meant to. It is up to the countries who make up the UN to ensure that that happens. By thumbing thier noses at the decisions of the UN, whether it be the US or any other country, only undermines the UN even more. The countries that make up the council should be leading by example. A decision was made, and the US decided to ignore that decision.

What decision?

UN Resolution 1441 in roughly November clearly threatened massive violence against Iraq unless that country began to comply with previous UN resolutions for unfettered access to weapons inspectors, including the removal of scientists and their families for questioning in a third country. That compliance never happened. The invasion occurred in roughly April if I'm not mistaken.

You can state there was no clear mandate provided for invasion in Resolution 1441, as was the case with Afghanistan, but you cannot state there was any resolution or decision reached by the UN contradicting the threat of 1441.

They ticked a lot of people off - and exposed France, Germany and Russia as well as the UN as prime violators and beneficiaries of the oil-for-food program - but there was no UN resolution saying they should not invade Iraq.

Ambiguities are wonderful!! :sorry: :eek: :highfive:

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

Schwinn
August 30th, 2005, 02:18 PM
The decision I'm referring to (I'm sorry, I don't know the exact resolution. You're obviously much more well versed on this than me :) ) is the when the US approached the UN about invading Iraq. While the UN did issue an ultimatum, they also said no when the US said they wanted to go in. Some of the inspectors were scratching thier heads, as they said they were making headway (this could be a whole other arguement as to whether they were or not). The point is, the UN said no, do not go in at this point in time, and the US said, "You're either with us, or against us". It was an illegal occupation. Canada said that they would support the UN. It isn't a perfect system, but it's the only one we have. If it is going to work, then all the leading countries need to follow the rules. I honestly feel that the US government will apply the rules as they see fit, and feel that they do not apply to themselves. Yes, every country is protectionist, and they should be. That's what the government is supposed to do, protect it's citizens. But I feel there is an attitude right now that the US government has which is "We're going to do what we want. What are you going to do about it?" And I think that is exactly what is happening with the softwood lumber.

Luvmypit
August 30th, 2005, 03:48 PM
I am not on the up and up of all these policies but its strikes me as a big problem when nations only listen to the rulings that benefit them. I know for a fact that if Nafta ruled in their favour it would have been case closed in their eyes.

I bleieve because of the Americans stance as a super power they sometime get the brunt of criticism. But in this case it is long over due and I don't believe for one minute this is American bashing. (except for the 9/11 comment)I certainly don't see discussing canadian and american POLICIES and GOVERNMENT the same as bashing Can and US PEOPLE. If you opened a thread that said Are Canadians Wimps pretaining to this topic you would get a collective HELL YA from us Canucks. I do agree Are Americans Bullies could upset some people but I know it wasn't done maliciously or to offend anyone. I think actually we were taken a back after we realized it did. So I apoligize to our American friends but really this is about policy and fairness not the people. I surely won't personally admit to being a wimp as I am sure you Kandy, Karin and Amber wouldn't admit to being bullies because its not about us or are heritage or what are country has done. We on both sides have a lot to be proud of. Doesn't mean we shouldn't debate this.
It is an issue that us Canadians whther you like or not feel bullied. That is how we feel. Put yourselves in our shoes and read the article if you haven't already. At this point we are damned if we do and damned if we don't.

db7
August 30th, 2005, 03:51 PM
The beginning of a solution to the this softwood problem is for Paul Martin to take some action for once and call George Bush to offer Canadian help in saving New Orleans from this terrible disaster.

A little neighbourliness (neighborliness for the American folk :)) would go a long way. Where is Mr. Dithers? A city of 500,000 people has been destroyed and not a word of support.