That title is probably apt for many media stories. The U.S. media circus re the primaries barely registers any Mexican or Canadian concerns about what is going on even when it comes to NAFTA. From any stories I have read the opening of NAFTA is just one of those common rhetorical waves at the loss of manufacturing jobs in certain parts of the USA. There is no mention of the negatives from Canada's point of view or that NAFTA ties us into being reliable and cheap energy suppliers for the U.S. Negatives for Mexico are not mentioned either. This is from the Toronto Sun.
The Conservative leaking of the remarks about Obama not being serious about re-opening NAFTA is not likely to have much effect. Perhaps the Conservatives have an inflated idea of their influence on U.S. politics. Why some Canadian bloggers are so interested in the U.S. primaries puzzles me. None of the candidates are outside the usual norm of representing vested interests. All make the U.S. safe from substantial change that would challenge the military-industrial complex. Politics is marketing plus entertainment for the most part in the U.S. although there are some genuine issues at stake as well.
March 1, 2008
Accused of leaking pro-NAFTA chat with Barack
By BETH GORHAM, THE CANADIAN PRESS
WASHINGTON -- A fracas over reports that Barack Obama isn't serious about reopening NAFTA has ensnared Canada's Conservative government, which faced accusations yesterday of trying to sink the Democrat's chances in the U.S. presidential race.
ABC News quoted an unnamed source as saying Ian Brodie, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's chief of staff, leaked word that a top Obama adviser told a Canadian official not to take all the anti-NAFTA rhetoric seriously.
Obama's senior economic adviser, Austan Goolsbee, spoke with Georges Rioux, Canada's consul general in Chicago, in a bid to placate officials north of the border about the trade pact, CTV News said.
The ABC source said Brodie told CTV News about the conversation after learning about it from Ambassador Michael Wilson. The source went on to say Wilson exaggerated what was said.
"Ian Brodie does not recall discussing this matter," said Harper spokeswoman Sandra Buckler.
But the Liberals in Ottawa pounced on the ABC report as evidence of a "shocking" interference in the U.S. presidential campaign.
"I'm stunned that the Harper government would insert itself into the U.S. election," said Leslie Swartmann, director of communications for Liberal Leader Stephane Dion. "It's crazy to what lengths they would go to ensure a Republican is elected."
The Liberals are suggesting the Conservatives were trying to pin the blame on Wilson to avoid criticism of interfering in U.S. politics.
CLINTON ON CASE
Democrat Hillary Clinton's campaign has also jumped on reports that Obama, her rival for the presidential nomination, isn't serious about reopening the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The Canadian Embassy and Obama's team have issued blunt denials that anyone ever suggested Obama is engaging in doubletalk on NAFTA to win over voters in Ohio, who blame the trade pact for lost jobs.
Goolsbee said he wouldn't confirm or deny talking with Rioux about Obama's position on the deal.
Both Clinton and Obama have said they want NAFTA renegotiated to include labour and environmental protections.
Harper said yesterday that reopening the 1994 continental pact would be a "mistake".