Of Nails and Needles: A Reconsideration of the Political Economy of Canadian Trade.
AbstractThe hegemonic view in Canadian political economy is that Canada’s trade profile is weighted towards the export of unprocessed products, and away from manufactured products. With the soaring value of Canadian energy exports, combined with an import history weighted towards the import of finished manufactured goods, left nationalist political economy seems to be on strong footing painting a picture of an economy with an underdeveloped manufacturing sector. This article will empirically re-examine Canada’s trade profile, question some common assumptions about what constitutes ‘manufactured’ exports, and argue that Canada’s trade profile is perfectly compatible with that of an advanced capitalist economy. Left nationalism has mistakenly relied on categories appropriate to dependent economies, categories inappropriate for Canada. A Marxist approach reveals an economy with a more or less developed ‘home market’ economy, where the ‘self-expansion of value’ is directed towards the Canadian capitalist class, not away from it, as would be expected in a dependent economy.
Copyright: Authors who publish in the Journal agree to the following terms: 1)Authors retain copyright and grant the Journal the right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in the Journal; and, 2)Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the Journal's published version of the work (eg post to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in the Journal.