jerryking + national_interests   12

Opinion: Ottawa seems to be out of ideas on devising a new kind of China policy
JUNE 19, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by DAVID MULRONEY. SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND
David Mulroney was Canada’s ambassador to China from 2009 to 2012.

A new approach is needed to managing Canada’s relationship with China – one that’s alive to Canadian vulnerabilities as well as our national interests.....There are many smart reasons for engaging China, but flattering the leadership in Beijing isn’t one of them. Good ideas emerge from hard thinking about long-term Canadian interests. Even summoning the vision and courage to think strategically would mark a significant improvement over our current China policy, which appears to be conjured up from equal measures of wishful thinking and parliamentary politics.....Thinking strategically requires asking why China is being so assertive, (e.g. building a blue-water navy, militarizing rocks and shoals in the South China Sea)....These are part of a patient and persistent Chinese effort to push the U.S. out of Asia and achieve regional dominance – and that is clearly not in Canada’s interest. The U.S.’s commitment to Asia enabled regional balance and, with it, peace and rising prosperity. More to the point, a China-dominated Asia would hardly be friendly to Canadian values and ideas.
(1) Abandon our current policy of “comprehensive engagement” – the notion that we should say yes to just about anything related to China. Cancel the commitment of $256-million over five years to the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
(2) reassessment of our relationship with Taiwan.
(3) move from talking about human rights in China to actually doing something about them. We normally count on the United Nations to address major human-rights abuses, but the UN, anxious to avoid offending Beijing, has been silent in the face of the government’s mass detention of Uyghurs and its brutal assault on their religion, language and culture.
(4) do the same for China’s beleaguered Tibetans. Canada’s commitment would be a welcome signal to both communities that they haven’t been forgotten.
(5) investment at home, too. Put more money into domestic security, combatting Chinese interference more effectively. And we shouldn’t be afraid to name and shame perpetrators when we discover examples of meddling; Beijing won’t like it, but it will also probably tone down its more egregious activities.
(6) invest in China competence in Ottawa, where the commodity is alarmingly scarce. Future leaders in key departments, in the security agencies and in the Canadian Forces need to be far more aware of how China works and how it thinks. This isn’t about agreeing with China, but about understanding it – something that we’re having a hard time doing at present. To do so, Ottawa should create a special “China School” that not only offers language training but also exposes top people across government to the best thinking on China’s politics, economics and security issues.
AIIB  Beijing  bootcamps  Canada  Canada-China_relations  Canadian_Forces  China  China_rising  DND  human_rights  ideas  idea_generation  maritime  national_interests  op-ed  policymaking  policymakers  political_staffers  reinvention  security_&_intelligence  South_China_Sea  strategic_thinking  Taiwan  Tibet  Uyghurs  values  wishful_thinking 
june 2019 by jerryking
Canada should prepare for life without NAFTA - The Globe and Mail
LAWRENCE HERMAN
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017

Canada should be considering a world without the NAFTA or, possibly, without even the Canada-U.S. free-trade agreement. Contingency planning is what trade-policy formulation is all about. Here are some factors to consider.

First, the NAFTA (like the FTA before it) is about preferential treatment. Ending those preferences doesn’t mean Canadian companies would be excluded from the U.S. market. Not in the least. Vast trade relations exist between the United States, China, Japan, Russia and the entire European Union, none of which have a free-trade agreement with the United States.

Second, even without preferential tariff rates for Canada, most have been reduced to zero anyway as a result of the World Trade Organization Agreement, so their NAFTA value is worth much less today than in 1994. On the non-goods side, the WTO Agreement ensures Canadian services and intellectual property rights of non-discriminatory treatment in the U.S. market.

Third, while the binational panel system for reviewing trade cases would disappear, agreement on that system predated the advent of the WTO and its own effective multilateral dispute resolution system, Canada has used the WTO system effectively over the years in dealing with the U.S., including in the ongoing softwood lumber dispute.

None of this diminishes the benefits of a successful outcome in the NAFTA 2.0 exercise for all three countries. But given where we are today, judging from Mr. Trump’s repeated public pronouncements, the vision of North America setting an example to the world has turned into a one-sided Trumpian quest for advantage.

Without the essential ingredient of common purpose, Canadian trade policy has to look beyond the precipice. No deal, as has been oft said, is better than a bad one.
contingency_planning  NAFTA  Donald_Trump  exits  crossborder  renegotiations  say_"no"  national_interests  free-trade  protectionism  beyondtheU.S. 
august 2017 by jerryking
Mulroney’s advice to Trudeau on NAFTA: head down and mouth shut - The Globe and Mail
LAURA STONE
Ottawa — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jun. 16, 2017

Americans should fear Canada’s economic clout but until formal free-trade negotiations begin, “we keep our heads down and our mouths shut,” says former prime minister Brian Mulroney......When the process begins, Mr. Mulroney said one of the most important words for Canada’s negotiators is “no.”

“We’re not some pushover little country,” Mr. Mulroney said......“There’s no Conservative way to negotiate a comprehensive free-trade agreement with the United States, and there’s no Liberal way to do it. There’s only a Canadian way,” Mr. Mulroney said.

“I think there are times when political parties should lay down their arms and support a national initiative. This is one of them.”....During the American election campaign, Mr. Mulroney said both Mr. Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders portrayed trade as hurting the U.S. economy, which created “serious problems.”

“The enemy is not trade. The enemy is technology,” he said, noting when he was in office, there were no cellphones or Internet.

“Now technology and automation are displacing jobs all over the place, and the challenge is to reconstruct the economy.”.....
closedmouth  crossborder  NAFTA  renegotiations  Brian_Mulroney  Justin_Trudeau  Donald_Trump  national_interests  advice  national_unity  say_"no"  Chrystia_Freeland  job_displacement  negotiations  economic_clout  Canada  taciturn  free-trade 
june 2017 by jerryking
Donald Trump Poisons the World
JUNE 2, 2017 | The New York Times | David Brooks.

This week, two of Donald Trump’s top advisers, H. R. McMaster and Gary Cohn, wrote the following passage in The Wall Street Journal: “The president embarked on his first foreign trip with a cleareyed outlook that the world is not a ‘global community’ but an arena where nations, nongovernmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage.”

That sentence is the epitome of the Trump project. It asserts that selfishness is the sole driver of human affairs. It grows out of a worldview that life is a competitive struggle for gain. It implies that cooperative communities are hypocritical covers for the selfish jockeying underneath.

The essay explains why the Trump people are suspicious of any cooperative global arrangement, like NATO and the various trade agreements. It helps explain why Trump pulled out of the Paris global-warming accord. This essay explains why Trump gravitates toward leaders like Vladimir Putin, the Saudi princes and various global strongmen: They share his core worldview that life is nakedly a selfish struggle for money and dominance.

It explains why people in the Trump White House are so savage to one another. Far from being a band of brothers, their world is a vicious arena where staffers compete for advantage......In the essay, McMaster and Cohn make explicit the great act of moral decoupling woven through this presidency. In this worldview, morality has nothing to do with anything. Altruism, trust, cooperation and virtue are unaffordable luxuries in the struggle of all against all. Everything is about self-interest. David Brooks contends that this philosophy is based on an error about human beings and it leads to self-destructive behavior in all cases.

The error is that it misunderstands what drives human action. Yes, people are self-interested but they are also wired to cooperate....Good leaders like Lincoln, Churchill, Roosevelt and Reagan understand the selfish elements that drive human behavior, but they have another foot in the realm of the moral motivations. They seek to inspire faithfulness by showing good character. They try to motivate action by pointing toward great ideals.

Realist leaders like Trump, McMaster and Cohn seek to dismiss this whole moral realm. By behaving with naked selfishness toward others, they poison the common realm and they force others to behave with naked selfishness toward them........By treating the world simply as an arena for competitive advantage, Trump, McMaster and Cohn sever relationships, destroy reciprocity, erode trust and eviscerate the sense of sympathy, friendship and loyalty that all nations need when times get tough.....George Marshall was no idealistic patsy. He understood that America extends its power when it offers a cooperative hand and volunteers for common service toward a great ideal. Realists reverse that formula. They assume strife and so arouse a volley of strife against themselves.
op-ed  climate_change  Donald_Trump  Gary_Cohn  decoupling  human_behavior  worldviews  WSJ  H.R._McMaster  selfishness  U.S.foreign_policy  Greek  morals  realism  George_Marshall  Marshall_Plan  self-interest  autocrats  Thucydides  David_Brooks  transactional_relationships  national_interests  institutions  international_system  values 
june 2017 by jerryking
Trump offering a timely cautionary tale on trying to run government as a business
Mar. 31, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | ADAM RADWANSKI.

.The enduring appeal of this hoariest of political clichés – some variation of making government run more like a business – is such that it surely seemed to Mr. Trump’s admirers like confirmation of the real-world expertise he seduced them with on the campaign trail....Mr. Trump is already providing cautionary tales. A management style that encourages factions in his employ to compete against each other for his attention is a proven recipe for chaos in government. His blustery approach to negotiations has yet to show many signs of working with foreign leaders. Most consequentially, so far, a lack of attention to detail, which could be overcome when delegating to underlings at his companies, proved devastating in the first legislative test of his administration – the President unable to sell fellow Republicans on his health-care plan, in part because he did not know details about the bill.......The more time one spends in or around governments, the more obvious it is why attempts to bring a Wall Street or Bay Street mentality to them can end badly.

Ethical scrutiny, for all that entrepreneurs-turned-politicians paint capital cities as swamps, is greater than in the corporate world. And because governments get more attention for failures than quiet successes, tolerance for risk is often lower.

Healthy tension with career civil servants can turn unhealthy if politicians and their staffs do not make honest efforts to understand and engage bureaucrats. And the overarching reality is that, in government, goals and outcomes are more complex, abstract and intuitive than when they can be measured by profit margins.

Business titans can triumph in politics – a Michael Bloomberg in New York, a Danny Williams in Newfoundland. And public-sector culture is often stagnant, and benefits from outside eyes. But the disruptors’ success usually involves a willingness to admit (privately) what they do not know about government, and trust people who understand it better.
Donald_Trump  delusions  business_interests  national_interests  humility  clichés  political_clichés  bureaucrats  government  business  public_sector  pro-business  cautionary_tales 
april 2017 by jerryking
What Trump’s Changes Mean for the National Security Council - The New York Times
By DAVID E. SANGER and MARK LANDLER JAN. 30, 2017

The council is no place for political creatures, many have argued. It is the place where the nation’s deepest intelligence secrets, its fluctuating hierarchy of national interests and its jockeying-for-power cabinet members combine as policy differences are hashed out. It is the forum where decisions about war, from Vietnam to Iraq; drone strikes in Pakistan; and conflicts in cyberspace have unfolded over endless hours of meetings.

Of course, with stakes that large, it has always been about politics — from grand strategy to petty scorekeeping.....The formal instrument is the “principals committee,” made up of the president, the vice president and all those jockeying cabinet members. That is what Mr. Bannon joins, meaning he won the first week’s access-trust-influence sweepstakes. ...The NSC has a staff that numbers several hundred professionals — most borrowed from the State Department, the Pentagon, the intelligence agencies and other government agencies for two years or so....Much of the day-to-day decision-making is done by the “deputies committee,” where sub-cabinet officers, and their designees, sit in seemingly endless meetings in the Situation Room to debate out differences, create policy and push the hardest issues to the president and his top advisers. Intelligence officials often open those meetings, providing assessments of what is happening around the world. (They are not supposed to delve into policy suggestions, but it has happened.)
NSC  White_House  security_&_intelligence  U.S.foreign_policy  national_interests  Stephen_Bannon  Henry_Kissinger  Brent_Scowcroft  APNSA  David_Sanger 
january 2017 by jerryking
Fear the military with a timetable of its own - The Globe and Mail
Doug Saunders

The Globe and Mail

Published Saturday, Nov. 30 2013

We used to think that wars were triggered by heated tribal animosities, by the hubris of madmen, by struggles for resources or by powerful economic forces. None of these ideas have been much use in explaining the wars of the past century. All of them were swept away, during my student years, by the new concept formulated by British historian A.J.P. Taylor: the “timetable theory.”

Studying the First World War, Mr. Taylor found that none of Europe’s political leaders had sought a larger war, nor did it serve any of their national interests to enter one. But their huge military bureaucracies had drawn elaborate, clockwork plans to mobilize millions of soldiers on multiple fronts at short notice, and a minor confrontation in Bosnia set all these plans in motion on a continental scale.

This theory is given its ultimate test in Margaret MacMillan’s new book The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914, in which the Oxford University historian provides a definitive (and gripping) examination of the factors that led Europe into 30 years of largely unnecessary war. The timetable theory remains important though not crucial to her interpretation, but Dr. MacMillan adds a new dimension.

The danger, she finds, is a military that sees itself as autonomous from the country’s political leadership and civil service, combined with political leaders who are weak, self-interested or too eager to acquiesce to the military’s demands.
Doug_Saunders  timelines  WWI  Margaret_MacMillan  books  clockwork  history  bureaucracies  national_interests 
december 2013 by jerryking
What is good for a business isn’t necessarily good for the country
Aug. 27 2013 | The Globe and Mail |CHRISTOPHER RAGAN
...Most non-economists probably think economics and business are the same. But anyone who has studied economics knows they are very different. Having done so for about 30 years, I am very comfortable thinking about how markets work, how they often fail to function effectively and how various government policies affect their operation. But I readily admit to having no expertise about product development, marketing campaigns, distribution networks or managing employees.

I only wish more business people admitted to having the opposite ignorance. People successful in their businesses obviously know a lot about running their own companies and dealing with their unique competitive challenges. But many of them believe their business acumen extends to the broader economy. They suffer from the misconception that what is good for their business is good for the country as a whole. And this is where they are terribly wrong.... Adam Smith was crystal clear about business interests, writing in 1776 that “people of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”...Fortunately for us, [James Moore] understands the difference between business interests and the national interest.
Adam_Smith  business_acumen  business_interests  businessman_fallacy  delusions  economics  humility  misconceptions  marketing  national_interests  policymaking  pro-business  product_development  rent-seeking  self-interest 
november 2013 by jerryking
Canada’s hazy takeover rules hurt everyone
Oct. 28 2012 | The Globe and Mail |Barrie McKenna.

Following an upsurge of national angst triggered by the buyouts of Canadian resource giants Inco, Falconbridge Ltd. and Rio Tinto Alcan in 2006, Ottawa ordered up the exhaustive “Compete to Win” report. The result was the 2008 federal Competition Policy Review Panel headed by former BCE Inc. chairman Lynton (Red) Wilson, which urged the government to turn the investment review process on its head.

The Wilson panel anticipated the growing clout of state-owned investors as well as the commodities super cycle.

Mr. Wilson’s prescription was to scrap the “net benefit to Canada” test and replace it with a “national interest” benchmark used by countries such as Australia. He urged Ottawa to reverse the burden of proof on takeovers, making it the responsibility of the government to demonstrate why a deal is bad for the country, not the other way around. And the panel said the government should publicly explain the rationale for blocking or approving transactions, scrapping a regime that “does not meet contemporary standards for transparency.”...The absence of investment reciprocity or evidence that state-owned actors won’t behave like other companies both would qualify as possible reasons for saying no.
barriers_to_entry  Barrie_McKenna  FDI  SOEs  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  rules_of_the_game  commodities_supercycle  national_interests  competition_policy  transparency  say_"no" 
november 2012 by jerryking
'It Didn't Happen' - WSJ.com
July 26, 2007 | WSJ| By JAMES TARANTO.

"Well, look, if that's the criteria by which we are making decisions on the deployment of U.S. forces, then by that argument you would have 300,000 troops in the Congo right now -- where millions have been slaughtered as a consequence of ethnic strife -- which we haven't done," Mr. Obama told the AP. "We would be deploying unilaterally and occupying the Sudan, which we haven't done. Those of us who care about Darfur don't think it would be a good idea."

Mr. Obama is engaging in sophistry. By his logic, if America lacks the capacity to intervene everywhere there is ethnic killing, it has no obligation to intervene anywhere -- and perhaps an obligation to intervene nowhere. His reasoning elevates consistency into the cardinal virtue, making the perfect the enemy of the good.

Further, he elides the distinction between an act of omission (refraining from intervention in Congo and Darfur) and an act of commission (withdrawing from Iraq). The implication is that although the U.S. has had a military presence in Iraq since 1991, the fate of Iraqis is not America's problem.

Unlike his main rivals for the Democratic nomination, Mr. Obama has been consistent in opposing the liberation of Iraq.
Obama  Iraq  Vietnam  Laos  consistency  virtues  U.S.foreign_policy  national_interests  sophistry  values 
july 2012 by jerryking
The causes: The roots of hatred
September 20th, 2001| The Economist

America defends its interests, sometimes skilfully, sometimes clumsily, just as other countries do. Since power, like nature, abhors a vacuum, it steps into places where disorder reigns. On the whole, it should do so more, not less, often. Of all the great powers in history, it is probably the least territorial, the most idealistic. Muslims in particular should note that the armed interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo, both led by America, were attacks on Christian regimes in support of Muslim victims. In neither did the United States stand to make any material gain; in neither were its vital interests, conventionally defined, at stake. Those who criticise America's leadership of the world's capitalist system—a far from perfect affair—should remember that it has brought more wealth and better living standards to more people than any other in history. And those who regret America's triumph in the cold war should stop to think how the world would look if the Soviet Union had won. America's policies may have earned it enemies. But in truth, it is difficult to find plausible explanations for the virulence of last week's attacks, except in the envy, hatred and moral confusion of those who plotted and perpetrated them.
cold_war  root_cause  anti-Americanism  disorder  international_system  national_interests  superpowers  leadership  U.S.  virulence 
june 2012 by jerryking
Pivotal Time for America's Mideast Interests - WSJ.com
* FEBRUARY 12, 2011 By GERALD F. SEIB
Starting on the day in 1977 when former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat
made a dramatic flight to Israel to start making peace, American policy
in the region has been built on the premise that Egypt was at least the
titular leader of a bloc of moderate, pro-Western Arab states. Those
states, including Jordan, Morocco and the Persian Gulf sheikdoms, have
provided a semblance of stability, at least a cold peace with Israel, a
bulwark against Islamic extremism and a free flow of oil.

The future of that model became much less certain with Friday's change
in Egypt.
Gerald_Seib  U.S.foreign_policy  Middle_East  Persian_Gulf  national_interests  Arab_Spring 
february 2011 by jerryking

related tags

Adam_Smith  advice  AIIB  anti-Americanism  APNSA  Arab_Spring  autocrats  barriers_to_entry  Barrie_McKenna  Beijing  beyondtheU.S.  books  bootcamps  Brent_Scowcroft  Brian_Mulroney  bureaucracies  bureaucrats  business  businessman_fallacy  business_acumen  business_interests  Canada  Canada-China_relations  Canadian_Forces  cautionary_tales  China  China_rising  Chrystia_Freeland  clichés  climate_change  clockwork  closedmouth  cold_war  commodities_supercycle  competition_policy  consistency  contingency_planning  crossborder  David_Brooks  David_Sanger  decoupling  delusions  disorder  DND  Donald_Trump  Doug_Saunders  economics  economic_clout  exits  FDI  free-trade  Gary_Cohn  George_Marshall  Gerald_Seib  government  Greek  H.R._McMaster  Henry_Kissinger  history  human_behavior  human_rights  humility  ideas  idea_generation  institutions  international_system  Iraq  job_displacement  Justin_Trudeau  Laos  leadership  M&A  Margaret_MacMillan  maritime  marketing  Marshall_Plan  mergers_&_acquisitions  Middle_East  misconceptions  morals  NAFTA  national_interests  national_unity  negotiations  NSC  Obama  op-ed  Persian_Gulf  policymakers  policymaking  political_clichés  political_staffers  pro-business  product_development  protectionism  public_sector  realism  reinvention  renegotiations  rent-seeking  root_cause  rules_of_the_game  say_"no"  security_&_intelligence  self-interest  selfishness  SOEs  sophistry  South_China_Sea  Stephen_Bannon  strategic_thinking  superpowers  taciturn  Taiwan  Thucydides  Tibet  timelines  transactional_relationships  transparency  U.S.  U.S.foreign_policy  Uyghurs  values  Vietnam  virtues  virulence  White_House  wishful_thinking  worldviews  WSJ  WWI 

Copy this bookmark:



description:


tags: