Canada column for Sunday, Oct. 1/17
THE CANADIAN REPORT
(c) By Jim Fox
Trade winds are buffeting Montreal-based Bombardier Inc., caught in a subsidies battle with the U.S. and Brazil.
The U.S. Department of Commerce has announced a nearly 220 percent countervailing duty against Bombardier’s CSeries planes.
Now, at the request of Brazil’s Embraer S.A., the World Trade Organization is also establishing a panel to review subsidies the airline company receives.
Still more bad news is expected Wednesday when Bombardier believes the U.S. will announce it will impose a large anti-dumping duty on CSeries planes.
Boeing complained that the Canadian aircraft maker has benefited from improper government subsidies, giving it an unfair advantage when selling its CSeries jets in the U.S.
The Brazilian company said government subsidies have allowed Bombardier to sell the CSeries jets at artificially low prices that distort the global market and harm competitors.
The Canadian government is “very confident” its support of the aerospace industry respects international trade rules and will defend the interests of Bombardier, said Joseph Pickerill of the International Trade department.
Former U.S. President Barack Obama told a Toronto audience that closing borders won't create future jobs as the technological revolution marches along.
Automation and artificial intelligence are what’s changing industries and advanced economies will have to confront the fact there won’t be enough high-paying, full-time jobs.
Governments are “missing the point” if their strategy is to close borders, he said.
Obama’s visit was followed a day later in Toronto by Hillary Clinton, his former Secretary of State, promoting her book about last year’s election loss.
News in brief:
- Governor General David Johnston was praised as a person who “connected deeply with Canadians,” as he returns to private life after seven years in the post. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Johnston is a “man of integrity who embodies the principles for which our country stands.” The former university president is succeeded in the role as Queen Elizabeth’s representative in Canada by former astronaut Julie Payette.
- Leaders of Canada’s provinces are putting pressure on Prime Minister Trudeau’s Liberals over controversial tax-reform proposals. Entrepreneurs and independent business owners would pay more as the government eliminates tax incentives designed for private corporations. Trudeau said the current system unfairly encourages the wealthy to incorporate to get a better tax rate than middle-income earners.
Facts and figures:
Canada’s dollar is lower at 80.19 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar returns $1.246 in Canadian funds before exchange fees.
The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate is steady at 1 percent while the prime-lending rate is 3.2 percent.
Stock markets are higher, with the Toronto exchange index at 15,634 points while the TSX Venture index is 781 points.
The average price for gas in Canada is steady at $1.11 a liter or $4.21 (Canadian) for a U.S. gallon.
Lotto 6/49: (Sept. 27) 2, 16, 19, 20, 23 and 34; bonus 9. (Sept. 23) 4, 11, 15, 20, 35 and 47; bonus 25. Lotto Max (Sept. 22) 2, 10, 37, 38, 39, 43 and 47; bonus 28.
- Canada’s housing affordability is at its worst level in 27 years, according to a Royal Bank of Canada report. RBC Economics said the Toronto area is the hardest hit at its worst level ever measured in the city, putting home ownership “out of reach for many would-be buyers.” It found that, overall, the Vancouver area is still the least affordable, followed by Toronto and Victoria.
- The skyline is forever changed with the opening of a $640-million complex called Parq Vancouver. Built at a cost of $640 million in the west coast city, it contains two luxury hotels and a two-floor casino replacement for the Plaza of Nation’s Edgewater Casino. It is located on the north side of False Creek and connected to B.C. Place Stadium.
Jim Fox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org