The Canadian government is trying to stay a step ahead on a big international trip – of the trade variety.
We often hear that commerce around the world is becoming more and more intertwined. Prime Minister Stephen Harper headed out on a tour of Latin America this weekend, meeting with business and political leaders in Brazil to discuss opportunities, followed by stops in Colombia, Costa Rica and Honduras.
Much was made during the last recession of how much this country’s economy meshes with that of the United States, its biggest single trading partner. The collapse a couple of years ago of several financial institutions south of the border, a real estate bubble and bailouts of industry by the U.S. government were cited as major factors.
It all helped to send the world’s economy in general into the doldrums.
With the current debt crisis in the United States topping the news in recent weeks, it’s looking like we’re in for another nerve-racking economic ride. Stock market indexes saw sharp drops late in the week as investors grew jittery that another slowdown is headed our way.
Massive deficits in some European countries have also been threatening the global economy.
Some legwork to expand on opportunities comes at a good time. In fact, Harper’s government during its time in power has been trying to increase trade ties in Latin America and the Caribbean.
While it’s becoming evermore apparent that no economy is fail-proof, Brazil has been advancing as one of the large, emerging economies, thus a good one to pursue.
Although this is not being billed as free trade talks, the Prime Minister’s Office says it’s a future possibility.
With that in mind, Canadians, as we know, have had mixed feelings about free trade deals.
The move to expand on trade opportunities is most welcome. But people in this country will also expect such factors as working conditions and human rights to enter the government’s considerations.