Our commentary partners will help you reach your own conclusions on complex topics.
How strike at the St. Lawrence Seaway will impact Canada
Everybody, Peter Zion here coming to you from Grand Rapids, Michigan. And the story today on the 23rd of October is that yesterday, a Canadian public service Union by the name of Unifor, announced a strike on the St. Lawrence Seaway. And there’s a bunch of things that come from this. Number one, what the Seaway is, it is a system of locks, I think 14 that connect the western Great Lakes to the St. Lawrence Seaway itself, which goes out to the Atlantic Ocean, it is the primary artery for getting cargo from the interior of the continent, as well as from all of Ontario and Quebec, out to the Atlantic Ocean. Basically, without the Seaway you can’t go up river beyond Quebec City. And so you’re talking about the bulk of the industrial base of Canada being affected by this. In addition, the Seaway is part of what allows the Erie Canal to work, which allows the New York area to access to the interior of the continent as well. So as long as it’s offline, what is traditionally the primary and cheapest method of moving cargo in and out of interior Canada is offline. And it complicates things for the United States as well. We’re gonna see a lot more stuff like this coming forward. One of the things that’s going on right now in North America is that we are experiencing protracted population decline, because we’ve had low birth rates for 40 years. Now, it’s not nearly as advanced as it is in places like Northeast Asia or Europe, but it’s still a factor. And in the United States, specifically, in calendar year 2022, the difference between the retirees who are aging to 65, and the people coming into the workforce who are aging into a team was just under half a million worker shortage just in this calendar year. And that number is going to continue to be negative for a minimum of the next 20. In fact, it’s just going to go up and up and up for at least the next 11. Because the people have already been born, we know exactly what the inflow into the labor market is for the next decade or two. Two decades. Yeah. Anyway, so that’s kind of the first problem. The second problem is there’s not a good alternative for the Canadians, courtesy of something called the Jones Act, you really can’t use the American waterway network. It prevents any cargo from being transported through the American system, unless it’s using a ship that is American built owned captain and crude, which by definition eliminates pretty much everything that comes from Canada. So we’re going to be seeing a lot of stress in the Canadian system and a lot of stress, especially in grains. A lot of interior Canada, the only way to get to the wider world is to use the Seaway the only alternative is to use rail Natto, a place like the Quad Cities in Iowa, or all the way to New Orleans, which is, you know, technically possible, but a lot more expensive. Anyway, because of the worker shortage, we’re going to be seeing activities like this over and over and over again. In the United States, we’re having issues with the United Auto Workers in places like Detroit right now where they’re on strike. And the folks up in Canada are thinking they should be able to get at least as much out of their operators as the strikers are aiming for. And so the other is a 30 to a 40% wage increase to be phased in over three years. But not saying that they’re not worth it. I don’t know what I am saying that, isn’t it an environment where labor is ever more scarce in North America, you should expect to see more and more and more industrial labor action at all levels. And this is just part of the environment now. So you best get used to it. And if you’re an employee, you’re your best build as positive relationship with your workers as you possibly can. Because they have become something that we’re not used to thinking of workers in North America as a scarce resource. And they’re going to be priced accordingly. All right.
Should we worry about Chinese land purchases in US?
Some U.S. lawmakers have expressed concerns about increasing ownership of American land by Chinese entities, often attributing it to the Chinese government’s attempt to control food supply and surveil U.S. infrastructure. China ranks 18th on the list of foreign landowners in the U.S., trailing Canada, the Netherlands, Italy, and the U.K. So how worried should…
Sweden finally within sight of joining NATO
Sweden has been trying to join NATO for almost two years now, following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Turkey and Hungary had been stalling that process, preventing Sweden from joining the Western military alliance. But recent public signals of approval from both Turkey and Hungary suggest a positive shift, indicating that the…
Will Europe go nuclear if US quits NATO?
The NATO alliance secured almost a century of peace on the European continent, with the exception of smaller conflicts and minor wars, until Russia invaded Ukraine in Feb. 2022. This was one of the longest stretches of continuous peace in recorded European history. Yet American isolationist instincts are resurfacing, just as they did before World…
Nigeria in a post-American world
Nigeria has the largest population and the largest economy of any nation in Africa and is projected to become the fourth-largest country in the world by population before 2050. But Nigeria is also a country with plenty of troubles, from notorious political corruption to domestic terrorism and armed insurgency. Peering ahead into the post-American world,…
Don’t expect US tactical response to death of Putin critic Navalny
On Friday, Feb. 16, Russian prison authorities announced that Aleksei A. Navalny, a prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, died in a remote Arctic prison. Navalny was imprisoned in January 2021 and serving a 19-year sentence. He was renowned as Putin’s most vocal domestic opponent, gaining prominence in 2011 when he declared the existence…
We know it is important to hear from a diverse range of observers on the complex topics we face and believe our commentary partners will help you reach your own conclusions.
The commentaries published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.
- What in the World
- America Speaks
In addition to the facts, we believe it’s vital to hear perspectives from all sides of the political spectrum. We hope these different voices will help you reach your own conclusions.
The opinions published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.
Other AEI Contributors