“Globalization is in keeping with the trend of the times, you know. It’s moving forward. It’s like the ocean, for the economy of all the countries”, Cong said.
The remarks were originally reported by Blacklock’s and may appear absurd to any Canadian reading them.
China has had the upper-hand in recent years of globalization of trade, with Canada maintaining a $51.8 billion trade deficit with China.
Canada has not seen a trade surplus with China since 1992, coupled with weak wage growth and stagnating prospects for the middle class.
According to Cong: “it’s the ocean and its rivers of each country running into the ocean. And it’s very difficult. You cannot do that, say today you can try to move the worker back from the ocean to different isolated lakes or rivers.” Canada should “maintain the supply chain and production chain globally”.
Meanwhile, China has been experiencing rapid growth since their entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001.
A TD report warned of Canada “losing high-quality, high-productivity manufacturing jobs” as early as 2008.
A recent book by Jeff Rubin, former chief economist at CIBC World Markets and senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation tackles precisely this phenomenon.
In The Expendables : How the Middle Class Got Screwed By Globalization, Rubin expands on the slow and grinding erosion of the middle class in Canada and North America at the benefit of China.
“Real wages in North America have not risen since the 1970s. Union membership has collapsed. Full-time employment is beginning to look like a quaint idea from the distant past. If it seems that the middle class is in retreat around the developed world, it is.”Jeff Rubin
While China’s ambassador may say that manufacturing jobs are gone for good in Canada, there is obviously a bias in that statement considering the enormous benefits that China has enjoyed from the exodus of manufacturing jobs.
If politicians stopped embracing free trade with totalitarian nations that play by a totally different rule-book, plenty could be done to bring back those jobs and revitalize the Canadian middle class.