Free Trade for British Columbia
Is It A Bargain at the Price?

Lewis, Debra J.; Rudland, Lorri
Publisher:  Pacific Group for Policy Alternatives
Year Published:  1987  
Pages:  31pp  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX3279

Abstract:  This kit shows "the devastating effect free trade could have on elements of the B.C. economy", and says that even if free trade is not implemented, "government policies are already being changed in ways that are consistent with free trade and the belief that what is good for the 'free market' is good for us all." The kit was developed by the Pacific Group for Policy Alternatives, an independent institute which presents alternative economic and social policies for trade unions, co-operatives, women's groups, and community groups. It consists of a number of articles covering different aspects of free trade. "Sacrificing Women to the Market Economy" shows what an economy ruled by 'market forces' means for women, who work in many of the most low-paid positions, and in marginal industries. Many would be thrown out of work, others would see their already low wages reduced by the need to compete with states like South Carolina, where the minimum wage is $3 per hour. "Are We Giving Away the Farm?" predicts serious damage to B.C. agriculture, especially in milk and dairy, fruits and vegetables, and egg and poultry production. For example, the U.S. surplus in dairy products, while only 10% of U.S. production, is equal to 80% of Canada's entire production. Similar situations hold true in other sectors. Under free trade, these surpluses could be sold in Canada at prices below Canadian production costs. The result would be the devastation of the Canadian industry, and dependence on foreign sources of supply. Other topics covered in the kit are "Who Pays for the Level Playing Field"; "Free Trade's False Promises: Are We Hitching Ourselves to a Falling Star?"; "Free Trade, Unemployment and Poverty"; and "Free Trade: It's No Protection from Protectionism."

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