Tuesday, August 16, 2005

No More Mr. Nice Guy? 

To paraphrase Jon Stewart, getting Canada mad at you is like pissing off Mr. Rogers. You have to work at it. So give Bush credit where credit is due:

Ottawa has pulled out of softwood lumber talks scheduled to take place next week, signalling its displeasure with the U.S. government's refusal to comply with a NAFTA ruling that would have put an end to punitive duties on Canadian timber....

Last week, a NAFTA appeals panel ruled against Washington's claim that Canadian softwood lumber poses a material threat of injury to U.S. producers. It is the third time that NAFTA has ruled against the U.S.

Under the 11-year-old North American free-trade agreement, the trade dispute should have come to an end, with Washington obliged to cancel the duties on Canadian lumber. Despite the NAFTA finding, the United States said it has no intention of scrapping duties on Canadian softwood — which exceed 20 per cent for some companies — and have no plans to refund the $5-billion in levies collected since 2002.
(via Globe and Mail)

Here's the fun part:
Canadian government officials were livid, accusing the U.S. of ignoring its responsibilities under the free-trade agreement and threatening to retaliate with billions of dollars of sanctions on American goods.

As a commenter pointed out in my earlier post, Canada exports more oil to the US than Hugo Chavez or the House of Saud. Canadians already pay $4/gal for gas; wouldn't it be amusing to see Bush voters pay rebates to Soviet Canuckistan for the same privilege?

Not long ago Bill O'Lielly urged Americans to boycott Canadian products over Iraq, much to the amusement of the Globe and Mail journalist, Heather Mallick, who was his guest. Be careful what you wish for, Bill; you just might get it.

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