TORONTO, June 26 /CNW/ - The Competition Policy Review Panel Report
released today fails to address legitimate concerns about foreign takeovers
say the United Steelworkers (USW).
Rather than grappling with these concerns, the Panel calls for
eliminating Canada's few remaining foreign-ownership restrictions.
"The stream of foreign takeovers has not ended," observed Ken Neumann,
Canadian Director of the United Steelworkers. "In nine months following the
Panel's formation, more than $90 billion of Canadian assets were taken-over by
foreign investors. Instead of addressing this issue, the business-dominated
Panel rode corporate Canada's usual hobby horses."
To facilitate foreign investment, the Panel proposes weakening the
Investment Canada Act and limiting its review process to takeovers over
$1 billion. Since this Act began in 1985, 12,800 foreign takeovers have
occurred, 1,600 have been reviewed and approved, and only one has been
blocked. There is no evidence that the existing Act poses any meaningful
obstacle to foreign investment.
The Panel asserts that lower business taxes are needed to make Canada
internationally competitive and demands further corporate tax cuts. However,
federal corporate taxes are already being slashed from 29 per cent in 2000 to
15 per cent in 2012. "Canada is already well on its way to becoming a tax
haven," said Neumann.
The Panel calls for "the elimination of all internal trade barriers"
without specifically identifying any of these supposed barriers. In fact,
interprovincial exports have increased four times faster than Canada's
international exports since 2000. Academic research has concluded that
internal barriers cost less than 0.05% of Gross Domestic Product.
As though Canadians do not hear enough about the supposed need to
deregulate our economy, cut business taxes and eliminate alleged barriers, the
Panel proposes a publicly-funded Canadian Competitiveness Council to continue
pushing corporate Canada's priorities. "Bay Street does not need and should
not have publicly-funded lobbyists," commented Neumann.
The United Steelworkers' submission to the Panel is available at:
More on the dubious case for corporate tax cuts is available at:
The USW is Canada's most diverse union, representing more than 280,000
men and women working in every sector of Canada's economy.
For further information:
For further information: Ken Neumann, (416) 487-1571 or (416) 558-2510