The US has upped the ante in the US/Canada trade dispute revolving around the Port of Prince Rupert. US politicos have charged that Canada is subsidizing ports creating an artificial trade advantage.
Today the US Federal Maritime Commission, at the urging of 10 US congressional members, launched a study into this supposedly unfair practice.
Now I believe in funding important economic infrastructure like the Rupert port, but you have to do it carefully so as to avoid the actions of bullies like the 10 congress members. See the entire history of the softwood lumber dispute, for example.
So my question is this: Did Premier Clark, with her stumbling, bull in a china shop, talk show host ways accidently play into the US game with her announcement of $15 million port expansion.
It sure looks like it. The FMC Chair today said “I’m also curious whether that disparity is compounded by artificial differences in container inspection practices and costs, rail costs, and infrastructure cost investments.”
Rail costs and infrastructure costs. Last week Clark kicked off her jobs tour with a $15 million grant to the port to help with rail and infrastructure costs.
This seems very reminiscent of Clark’s famous but goofy Senate proposals, proposals that defied reason and showed a very limited understanding of both federal politics and Canadian history. They, like so many of her off the cuff policy pronouncements, bit the dust soon after their announcement.
The US is expecting Canadian officials to provide evidence to the study. Maybe Clark will finally be prevailed upon to testify to something that has to do with railways.