Make what we need at home, reduce pollution, create well-paying jobs
Has anyone ever considered the true root to the world’s current problems? Ever increasing global pollution, both atmospheric and ground and ocean level, the always increasing price of all fuels and what that adds to the buyer’s price and the lack of well paying jobs are the ones that come to mind. One thing is the cause of all these problems: free trade.
When a country has free trade agreements with distant countries, the first thing that comes to mind is that everything has to be transported, usually by massive cargo ship. The engines that propel these vessels are in a class of their own — and emit large amounts of pollutants into the air. No matter how few times a cow burbs, or how many people drive electric cars (that is another ecological brain wash) it will never compensate for emission from cargo ships.
The articles in these vessels ranges from massive motors to vehicles of all types, food all the way down to sewing needles. When was the last time you bought something that was actually made in Canada? A long time ago, I bet. Buying from a Canadian company doesn’t count as they are importers of the goods they sell.
All theses foreign items are well packaged to protect the contents during voyages that sometimes take months. That all goes in our garbage and recycling or along our roads and into our waterways.
Other things arrive with these imported goods – invasive species and diseases that affect, and even kill, our native flora and fauna. Every year there are new warnings about species and diseases to watch out for and report. This year it was jumping worms which destroy the top soil. Look it up.
Another supporter of free trade is our eating habits that have changed as consumers expect to buy mangos in January, yams in March and strawberries, raspberries and blue berries 12 months of the year. All are shipped in.
Big corporations like free trade. It enables them to close factories and offices around the world and amalgamate in one country – the one that offers the best financial deal for them. What they produce in one or two sites is shipped to every other country… by boat. The “have-not” countries, the same as what Canada is becoming, are left with empty buildings and low-paying warehouse jobs.
Remember the search for foreign-made COVID-19 vaccines and boosters? The search for masks, gloves and gowns? Some suppliers even sent used ones! The current appeal is for children’s pain and fever control medicinal products, usually a staple in every parent’s medicine cabinet. Even Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies, missing from our shelves for months, had to be sourced overseas.
How many have vehicles and/or machinery waiting for parts to arrive from a foreign country?
And how many hundreds of things are held up in foreign ports or on the high seas? Hundreds? Thousands? Almost nothing is made here anymore.
While our government recently joined with other countries, pledging millions to poorer nations to help them fight pollution they did not cause, they then went on to talk free trade with other countries half-a-world away. This makes no sense and even worsens the problem.
Cancel free trade, produce the bulk of what is needed here, reduce pollution and protect our plants and animals and create well-paying jobs with a future. It is that simple.
Angela Dorie is an agricultural writer and a Jersey farmer near Cornwall.