Canadian Manufacturing

CAW calls for major changes to financial and trade policy

The union developed a 50-page policy paper calling on corporations and the government to "rethink Canada's auto industry"



TORONTO—The Canadian Auto Workers union is calling on the federal and provincial governments to work together on new policies it says could help protect and revitalize the country’s automotive sector.

In a 50-page report titled “Rethinking Canada’s Auto Industry” the CAW on Monday urged governments to make several major changes, including a reworking of trade policies and intervening to curb the lofty loonie.

The union pointed to unbalanced trade policies, which it says have made it a “one-way street” of imports over exports with practically every country except the U.S.

It called on Canada to cease free trade negotiations with automaking countries including those in the European Union as well as Japan, Korea, and Thailand.

“It is a responsibility of trade policy-makers to address and resolve this dramatic, chronic and growing imbalance in our international trade relationships in automotive products—one of the most important traded commodities in the world economy,” the report said.

The union also suggested the loonie should be brought back down to a “fair-value” level. Possible moves could include an intervention from the Bank of Canada or the government preventing foreign takeovers of resource assets, the union said.

“While in theory the global financial system relies primarily on a system of freely floating exchange rates, in practice governments and their central banks regularly intervene in currency markets to influence currency outcomes,” the report said.

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