This article appeared in Consent #1 (January-February 1988)


- David Pengelly

Because of their contempt for individual freedom of choice, unions and the more socialist parties do not want free trade. They want to be able to impose protectionism which prevents consumers from making a free choice.

Let us take this to its logical conclusion.

Advocates of protectionism say it will create jobs and industries. If this is true, then Alberta should keep out those cheap Ontario goods and develop industry in Alberta. Ontario should keep out that cheap Alberta wheat and help its local farmers. Small towns should keep out those cheap goods from Toronto. After all, if protectionism is good for Canada, then it is good for Parry Sound, right?

Ridiculous, isn't it?

Yet, such is the logic behind protectionist arguments.

On the other hand, as a supporter of free trade, I am willing to strike a deal with Australia and New Zealand. And think of the beef we could sell to Japan if it didn't have trade barriers.

Free trade is the only rational foundation for any economy; protectionism is not. Individual Canadians are only capable of exerting control over each of their personal economies when they are freely allowed to make their own choices between products, and between the producers and suppliers of those products.

Under free trade, the individual gains control, the politician loses it. Is it any wonder that free trade is the issue of our day?

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