Integration into U.S. War Economy
Among those calling for permanent corridors to be established in response to the Ambassador Bridge blockade, was the CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Perrin Beatty.
The Emergencies Act that was invoked federally against the “Freedom Convoy” was originally introduced by Beatty when he was Solicitor General and Minister of Defence under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in 1987. Beatty was also a member of the Trudeau Government’s COVID-19 Supply Council that was established in May of 2020.
On February 16, Beatty said: “We may very well see across the country, including potentially in Windsor, more measures being taken to ensure that small groups aren’t able to put down critical infrastructure.” He continued, “We should have never had a situation where it was possible to blockade the road to and from the bridge and so it’s having the resources there to ensure these critical elements of infrastructure are able to be maintained.”
The Chamber issued a public letter calling on all levels of government to act to end the blockade, telling them to “urgently enact measures to protect critical infrastructure to ensure further closures do not take place elsewhere in the country in the days ahead.”
Beatty’s calls are in line with something that he has been arguing for for some time – that Canada serve the U.S. as a safe and reliable source of critical minerals to counter the U.S. reliance on China for these minerals. In a recent article in Policy Magazine Beatty wrote:
“We need to find ways to break out from the pack and secure a greater market share of American decision-makers’ attention. One way that can be done is by supporting American ambitions related to critical minerals. In the June 2021 supply chain review, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) underscored its concern with the current critical mineral supply chain: these supply chains are at serious risk of disruption — from natural disasters or force majeure events, for example — and are rife with political intervention and distortionary trade practices, including the use of forced labour. Contrary to a common belief, this risk is more than a military vulnerability; it impacts the entire U.S. economy and our values.
“Unlike China, Canada is a reliable partner and can help allay the DoD’s concerns related to the supply chain risks identified for critical minerals. In fact, Canada gets an explicit call-out in the report and the DoD highlights in their assessment that Canada has resource potential in twenty-three products. Although Canada and the U.S. have started engagement through the Joint Action Plan on Critical Minerals Collaboration, we need to make greater strides domestically in order to bring something to the table.” [Emphasis added]