Confronting Power, Money, and Most Economists
The Class Action of the Anti-Free Trade Movement
Keywords:free trade, NAC, coalition building, CUSFTA, NAFTA, trade policy, neoliberalism
AbstractThe Canadian anti-free trade movement was a genuine ‘movement’ that originated locally in many different places throughout the country and was soon consolidated in a loose coalition at the national level. It was extraordinary for several reasons. First, it brought together a large number of groups that had never worked with each other before and their coalitions were strong and effective. Second, it was a movement based on class issues and was understood that way by its leaders and most of those who participated in it. Third, it democratized thinking and knowledge about economic policy, and this, in turn, meant that many groups and issues that were normally absent from a discussion of macro-economic policy, became central to the debate. Fourth, the anti-free trade movement grew in relation to the specific issues of regions and groups but the critical arguments that developed over time focused on the problems of having market mechanisms dominate both the economic and social spheres. This scrutiny and discussion of the market system itself has not been replicated in debates on any subsequent major policy issue.
Copyright (c) 2021 Marjorie Cohen
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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.