Canada in World Affairs (Acsus Papers) by Annette Baker Fox

By Annette Baker Fox

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Canada cuts a much larger figure in international economic relations than in international security matters, because the government can concentrate its attention on issues concerning which Canada has some relative weight. " Among the 124 members of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), Canada is a very active participant; it also belongs to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The latter, much smaller, group is composed of industrialized countries which consult and collaborate on common economic and social problems and often lead the way for changes in GATT.

S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull's system of reciprocal trade agreements lowering tariffs. These benefits were expanded on a multilateral basis under the Page 19 postwar system of GATT. The "most favored nation" principle underlying GATT's various rounds of multilateral tariff negotiations has greatly opened up world trade. Canada has benefited because well over a fourth of the goods and services it produces is exported. With a relatively small though affluent domestic market it is reasonable for Canadians to prefer for the world trading system to be as open as possible.

Thus, also, bureaucratic rivalry, although hardly on the scale to be seen in Washington, can be expected to flourish, despite efforts at consensus and coordination. Nevertheless, compared with the United States, foreign policy making in Canada is concentrated. The prime minister is the leader in the House of Commons and depends on a tradition of cabinet solidarity, collective responsibility, and party discipline. For the past few decades a committee in the House dealing with external affairs and national defense has played a role in examining various foreign policy issues and prodding the government.

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