Obama Repeals NAFTA
Okay, that’s probably a bit of an overstatement… But I don’t think that starting a trade war with the
Americans who say “eh” and “aboot” Canadians is a really good idea. Via co-blogger Jason Pye at his personal blog:
Canada’s six NHL teams are scrambling to find alternative travel arrangements south of the border after the U.S. Department of Transportation banned Air Canada’s charter fleet from flying between U.S. cities.
In a furious exchange with the Obama administration over the mid-August ruling, Canada has launched its own investigation and will soon close its skies to U.S. sports team charters in retaliation, warns Transport Minister John Baird.
The sticking point is an eight-year-old exemption that had allowed sports and celebrity charters to make several pit stops in American cities. Under existing open skies agreements, regular Canadian airline flights can only visit one U.S. city before returning.
The ruling also side-swipes musicians and other artists on tour.
The matter was pushed by the U.S. Air Line Pilots Association. It had demanded an investigation of passenger lists on the NHL flights, which found a few examples of injured players, personal trainers and team owners boarding the charter south of the border and departing at another U.S. city in a technical violation of the agreement.
Emphasis added to point out — as Jason does — that this is more about appeasing a union than anything else. This isn’t about safety. This isn’t about the NHL or Canada. This is about protecting an American union from competition. And if economic inefficiency is the result, so be it. If trade retaliation is the result, so be it. Campaigns don’t finance themselves, people! Ya gotta take care of your friends.