Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

A Trading Nation: Canadian Trade from Colonialism to Globalization

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

A Trading Nation: Canadian Trade from Colonialism to Globalization

Article excerpt

Michael Hart, A Trading Nation: Canadian Trade from Colonialism to Globalization (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2002), xv + 556pp. £66.50. Cloth. ISBN 0-7748-0894-2.

This is a comprehensive survey of the history of Canadian trade based on secondary sources and Hart's experience as a Canadian trade official. He also covers the history of American international trade policy and the development of the multilateral trading agreements in the twentieth century. The coverage of these topics is also extremely thorough.

Hart shows that Canada has always relied upon international trade for its economic well being. He argues that the protectionist Canadian National Policy from 1867 to the early 1980s did not serve his country well. There was a significant loss of economic welfare to the Canadian consumer through the high cost of goods produced by Canada's sub-optimal, protected manufacturing industries. However, it could be argued that Canada would not exist in its present form today without this policy. Hart believes that the liberalisation of international trade and the belated recognition by Canadians of their country's interdependence with the American economy will result in an optimum level of economic development in Canada. …

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