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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 23, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THE UTHBRIDGE HERALD Monday, April 23, 1973 Subsidies and tariffs Early this year the U.S. govern- ment ordered countervailing tariffs on all products shipped to the U-S. by Michehn, a French owned com- pany that manufactures auto and truck tires in Canada. The reason given for the special levy was that Michelin had received incentive grants when it built its plants in Canada, a circumstance the U-S. au- thorities viewed as tantamount to a production subsidy. Government sub- sidies, they contend, give imported goods an unfair competitive advan- tage over domestic goods. For various reasons including the seriously adverse affect this policy would have on the operations of the department of regional economic ex- pansion, the Canadian government demonstrated strongly, and just the other day the U.S. government agreed to review the matter. And well it should- When the U.S. decided to devalue it's dollar a few weeks ago, it was to help correct a trade imbalance running to billions of dollars a year. A substantial proportion of this, a matter of several hundreds of mil- lions a year, is in trade with Can- ada a proportion that isn't affected by devaluafon, because the free floating Canadian dollar promptly accompanied the U.S. dollar to its new lower level vis-a-vis other world currencies. To reduce the U.S. trading deficit with Canada, there will have to be changes in the trading pattern; eith- er imports from Canada wiU have to be reduced, or exports to Canada increased. A drastic cut in Canadian imports would cause other problems- It would result in higher U.S. prices for a number of commodities, and price levels in the U-S. are already causing complaints and political em- barrassment. Also, stopping the flow of goods from Canada would sharply reduce the profitability of the massive investment Americans have made in Canadian industry. The best answer, then, from the U-S. point of view is to sell more U.S. goods to Canada. But exporting more goods to Canada is bound to meet with resistance from Canadian industry, and with the Michelin de- cision standing, the question of tar- iff protection could not help but arise- The reason given for countervail- ing tariffs against Michelin is the subsidy from the Canadian govern- ment. So if the U.S. wishes to sell more goods to Canada, in all de- cency and prudence it should endea- vor to find goods to sell that are not subsidized in some direct or in- direct way by the U.S. government. That would rule out all agricultural products if any U.S. farm prod- ucts aren't subsidized, it's only be- cause the Washington farm lobby doesn't know it all textiles, and a thousand other products for which American industry is seeking for- eign markets. This is not to say that Canada would or should retaliate for the Michelin decision by imposing coun- tervailing tariffs on any U.S. imports. One would think she would not have to; in the circumstances, just men- tioning the matter should be enough. ART BUCHWALD Those were the days WASHINGTON "Daddy, tell me again what it was like in 1973 when anyone who wanted to could drive a car." "I know you're not going to believe this, son, but all you had to do was drive up to a gas station and say to the attendant, 'Fill 'er up.' And you know what? He had to vripe your windshield, too, or you wouldn't buy any gas from him." "Aw, come on Daddy, you're putting me on." "I'm telling the truth, son. And not only that but we used to have these big cars three tunes the size of the ones you see now with four doors and air condi- tioning and everything. Some of them got, 9, 10 miles to a gallon. I think there are some pictures of theni in the encyclopedia here." "Gosh, those were some cars." "In those days you could drive your car to work or to the city all alone without violating the law. You'd see people in eight- passenger station wagons all by them- selves." "Is it true you could drive to the beach or to the mountains or a football game 100 miles away without getting a special pass from the Automobile "Yup. One time your mother and I drove all the way to Florida, and we didn't have to ask permission from a soul. We just went." "What happened, "Nobody really knows. Peopb just kept using up gasoline and oil until there was none left I remember in '73 Detroit an- nounced it had had its greatest year. Sold more big cars than any time in its his- tory. "But nobody bothered to tell Detroit there would be rothing to put in the big gas tanks. They said it wasn't their problem. "R was really funny because in Wash- ington they were arguing about automobile pollution and the emission standards for 1975, when, in fact, the problem solved itself. There was no fuel left to pollute any- thing." "Why didn't Detroit build smaller cars that wouldn't use so much they said Americans wouldn't go for it. They said Americans had always had big cars, and they deserved big cars because big cars were what made Am- erica great. Of course now they have no choice but to manufacture two-cylinder automobiles because that's the only kind of car Americans can afford. I mean when gas is selling for a gallon and you've got rationing coupons, nobody in his right mind is going to make a four-cylinder car." "Is that why we moved back to the city, bKratise you couldn't drive to work any "Yup. We lived in the suburbs when you were very little, but when the country ran out of gasoline we had to move back fiere. Oh. I tried bicycling to work, but it was 40 miles each way acd I was pretty poop- ed by the time I got home. So we came back. And it was curious because up until that time the blacks lived in the cities and the whites lived in the suburbs. "Now, of course, all the whites live in the citiss and the blacks live in the sub- urbs because that's the only housing the blacks can afford. The blacks didn't want to go to the suburbs, but the whites kept buying up the ghettos and the blacks had no choice. They're probably happier out there, anyway, living among their own kind." "Who was to blame for our running out of "Detroit blamed it on Ralph Nader, the president blamed it on Congress, The Arabs blamed it on Israel and the oil companies blamed it on the caribou in Alaska." "It must have been fun living in 1973." "It was. Do you know one time we drove 30 miles just to have a sirloin "What's a "Oh, the hell it. 11 hurts too much to talk about it." Strictly for the birds By Nonna COALDALE The miracle of spring is making itself heard. It is a raucous, jojful, and full oi promise. Promise? Promise of "Oh I Icl] the p-arcful "They'll let ymi build jour