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CAW Head Ken Lewenza Video on Caterpillar’s Decision to Fire 450 Canadians

Watch this video of Ken Lewenza speaking about Caterpillar’s decision to fire hundreds of Canadian workers today and move their jobs to low-wage America.

Ken argues that its time for Canadian governments to take a position on foreign corporations who buy Canadian businesses only to fire everyone and ship the jobs out of the country.

What ought that position be?

He argues that Canadian governments should only be permitted to buy Canadian made equipment and services, Buy Canada.   It’s hard not to accept that the Caterpillar situation is the “race to the bottom” played out in real time, that was widely predicted by opponents of “free trade”, isn’t it.  Of course, we don’t have “free trade” really.  One reason Caterpillar is moving production to Indiana is take advantage of American financial privileges only available for American-built products. I will leave it to the trade lawyers to explain how that program doesn’t run afoul of any trade treaties, but presumably if the Americans can decide to buy only American made products like trains, then so can the Canadians.

So where do you stand on this issue?  If countries we compete with are encouraging domestic production by incentives favoring domestic producers, shouldn’t Canada be doing the same?   Is Lewenza wrong to suggest that?

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