CANZUK – The Canada-Australia-New Zealand-United Kingdom Free Trade Bloc

Great Britain is now beginning the process of divorcing from the European Union and going on its own – something it’s quite capable of doing, having built an Empire, then a Commonwealth, with impact around the world,  that has lasted 1,000 years.  Now a new trade deal is being considered between four very old and dear friends – family members actually – and it’s starting to get a lot of interest among the citizenry of those four countries.  It might just be the best idea any of the four has ever been part of!
The proposed union even has an unofficial name, already becoming comonplace – CANZUK:  the Canada-Australia-New Zealand-United Kingdom trade bloc. There is even a website currently promoting the idea to all four national governments and their citizens – all four of whom are in various stages of development of the idea already:

CANZUK with insignias of the four Commonwealth countries involved: Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. (Credit: Alexander MacLeod)

I believe strongly that the United Kingdom/Great Britain would indeed be best served by joining with these particular member states of the current British Commonwealth, to form a new trade bloc, like the EU – Australia, New Zealand and Canada (FULL DISCLOSURE: I was born I, and have lived all of my 51 years, as a citizen of Canada).

The personal, professional, business and national connections between these four particular countries are incredibly deep. Of course, this is because we are family, as I stated previously – Great Britain being our mother, and the other three nations (Australia, New Zealand and Canada) being sisters, who to this day very much love and respect one another.

The trust and credibility built between these four nations goes all the way back to our individual founding as colonies of the British Empire, and now member sovereign states of the Commonwealth. The daughter states are all within 44 years of being the exact same age:

  • New Zealand – May 7, 1856
  • Dominion of Canada – July 1, 1867
  • Commonwealth of Australia – January 1, 1901

These four nations fought through two World Wars, the Great Depression, and a host of other challenging times… side by side.

(from l to r, Rt. Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia, Rt. Hon. Teresa May, Prime Minister of Great Britain, Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, and Rt. Hon. Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand)

We share Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II as our common monarch. A shared monarch is an essential aspect of CANZUK, which represents a global institution which has played an important role as a symbol of a common heritage and parliamentary tradition.

The Crown is the cornerstone of our democratic governments, and the rule of law over a long history of peaceful constitutional development. It is instructive to note that the English speaking countries which have retained the monarchy have been far more successful in avoiding civil unrest than their republican counterparts such as France and the United States.

The four nations have the same Parliamentary governmental system, a similar Constitution, and are all members of the British Commonwealth. We have similarly-ranked and recognized educational institutions, as well as similar trends in the business and financial realms, and similar geopolitical aspirations. The four nations also have, for the most part, the respect and trust of the majority of the nations of the world.

Interest and support is already high in all four nations for such a trade bloc agreement:

Overall National Average Support (in %):

National Support by Region (in %):

We have a similar racial profile, speak the same language (with some various differences that only make things more interesting). Canada, Australia and New Zealand even share a similar currency with a near-identical value – the Dollar. For example, on October 2, 2019 (information provided by Google Finance)

  • 1 New Zealand Dollar equals 0.83 Canadian Dollar
  • 1 Australian Dollar equals 0.89 Canadian Dollar
  • 1 New Zealand Dollar equals 0.93 Australian Dollar

With the United Kingdom “Brexiting” the European Union trade bloc and going on their own, this idea has gained newfound interest in the UK, and across the other three nations as well.

passs-e1490853717728This concept of a trade bloc consisting of the United Kingdom/Great Britain, as well as Canada, Australia and New Zealand was discussed in a February 13, 2017 Financial Post article, which I will quote verbatim for some excellent updated information. – In the Trump era, the plan for a Canadian-U.K.-Australia-New Zealand trade alliance is quickly catching on:

Erin O’Toole, one of the candidates for the Conservative Party leadership, has made one of the key planks of his campaign his determination to “pursue a Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand trade and security pact.” The idea of creating a “CANZUK” zone of free trade and free movement of labour is catching on elsewhere, too.

In New Zealand, the junior coalition partner in the government, the Act New Zealand party led by David Seymour (who himself worked for five years in Canadian politics), is explicitly in favour of free movement and free trade within CANZUK.

canzuk1
Proposed flag of the CANZUK union, composed of elements from all four national flags. Some with overactive imaginations say this reminds them of a white supremacist flag.

In official party circles within the U.K. and Australia, the wheels are grinding a little slower, but the former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott is already into most of the idea, proposing a free-trade agreement and free-movement area encompassing Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. And in Britain, Theresa May’s Conservative government has made it clear it wants new trade agreements with Canada, Australia and New Zealand as soon as possible after it leaves the EU.

The idea of CANZUK begins with a free-trade agreement, free-movement area (the freedom to live and work in each others’ countries) and defence-partnership agreement. O’Toole favours all three of these main planks, and he’s right that it all makes perfect sense.

The post-Cold-War alliances are obsolete. NAFTA is dead. The EU is losing a key member.

The CANZUK countries, working closely together, would make a formidable contribution to world affairs. They would have the largest total landmass of any free-trade zone. They would collectively constitute the fourth-largest market in the world, after the U.S., EU and China.

Their combined military spending would be the world’s third largest, well ahead of Russia, and on European Geostrategy’s geopolitical power index, the CANZUK countries collectively have a strength around 70 per cent of that of the U.S. — and nearly twice that of China or France. With a combined global trade footprint nearly twice as big as Japan’s, the CANZUK countries would have substantial influence in opening up global markets and guiding global regulation across a range of issues from banking to shipping to the environment.

tldrcanzukWhat makes CANZUK a natural union is perhaps self-evident. Canada, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand share a similar culture, similar values, and analogous legal, business and social systems that allow us to get along easily and interchangeably. (The term CANZUK was originally a term diplomats used to refer to these four countries because of how frequently they would vote the same way at the UN.)

Most of the main issues our political parties focus upon are instantly comprehensible to anyone from another CANZUK state. Our laws and constitutions share many features, making trade deals and mutual regulatory recognition a relatively straightforward matter. Our citizens enjoy a roughly similar per capita GDP (which is just not true of the other Commonwealth nations with similar constitutions) and face few hurdles in integrating into another CANZUK country’s labour market. Our societies are peaceful and orderly.

And in our modern globalized world, we see that we are much more similar to each other than we are to others. The challenges of dealing with Japanese or Chinese business partners can be overcome, but they cannot be denied. Continental Europeans have different foibles, different goals and different priorities from ours, as well as importantly different legal and constitutional challenges. The arrival of President Trump reminds us of just how different from us many parts of the U.S. really are, and always have been.

Furthermore, while the U.S., the EU and China can all make valuable trading partners in their different regions, each CANZUK state that encounters them is regionally overmatched and, standing alone, will inevitably be dominated. Working together though, exploiting our natural affinities and the world of mass communication, high-value services and rapid transit, CANZUK can allow us stand our ground and project our own values and agendas.

The post-Cold-War alliances and assumptions are obsolete. NAFTA is dead. The EU will soon lose one of its largest members. Trump might downgrade NATO, abandon the WTO and even diminish the UN. It’s tempting, in a world of change, to try to cling to as much of the old certainties as possible. But if we look up and out, something new beckons. Free trade, free movement and a new security partnership between countries of shared culture and natural affinity. CANZUK is the global deal of tomorrow.

Dr. Andrew Lilico, born in New Zealand but based in London, is executive director and principal of Europe Economics, a fellow of the Institute of Economic Affairs, and chairman of the IEA Monetary Policy Committee.

ccclogo-small


By Shawn Jorgensen,  Founding Editor
Calling Out Community
Posted:  December 15, 2018.  Updated:  October 2, 2019.
[God’s Got A Plan For You!]

TPP: Canada’s 800 Million New Customers

by Calling Out Community, Posted October 6, 2015

The-TPPAmazing news out of Atlanta, Georgia:  leadership representing 12 nations on 4 continents,including the government of Canada under the leadership of Prime Minister Harper, has concluded negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the largest free trade agreement in world history.  

This agreement will give Canadian businesses tariff-free access to 800 million new customers in 11 countries, including the US and  Japan, the #1 and #3 economies in the world, as well as Australia.   Our participation in the TPP will create new, well-paying jobs. It will grow every sector of our economy by giving Canadian businesses access to some of the fastest-growing new markets in the world.   The U.S. alone will benefit to the tune of $5 billion, rising to $14 billion in 10 years.

IMG_2287Starting today, Canada will now be the only G7 nation with free trade access in the US, across the rest of the Americas, most of Europe, and the largest centres of Asia – totalling over 60% of global GDP and 50% of international trade.

Everyone is familiar, for better or worse, with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) signed in 1989 with the United States and Mexico – creating at that time the largest free trade zone in history.  And free trade has paid off – In 1993, trilateral trade within the North American region, as measured by each nation’s imports from its two NAFTA partners, was over $288 billion.   In 2012, it passed the $1 trillion mark.

But did you know, when the Conservatives under Stephen Harper came to power nearly 10 years ago, we had free trade agreements with only 5 countries on earth including our NAFTA partners?

No national economy can grow in that kind of continued isolation or protectionism – just ask Cuba. Our Conservative government  understood that and spent much time and energy building such relationships.

Canada and Israel celebrate our expanded Free Trade agreement earlier this year.
Canada and Israel celebrate our expanded Free Trade agreement earlier this year.

Today, Canada has free trade agreements with 51 countries, representing 60% of the world’s economies!  Earlier this year we even strengthened our existing free trade agreement with the Middle East’s greatest economy and most stable democracy – the State of Israel.

Today, Canadian businesses and consumers benefit from free trade agreements, according to Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada with:

  • Australia (TPP)
  • Austria (CETA)
  • Belgium (CETA)
  • Brunei Darussalam (TPP)
  • Bulgaria (CETA)
  • Chile (TPTP)
  • Croatia (CETA)
  • Cyprus (CETA)
  • Czech Republic (CETA)
  • Denmark (CETA)
  • Estonia (CETA)
  • Finland (CETA)
  • France (CETA)
  • Germany (CETA)
  • Greece (CETA)
  • Honduras – 2014-10-01
  • Hungary (CETA)
  • Ireland (CETA)
  • Israel – 1997-01-01
  • Italy (CETA)
  • Japan (TPP)
  • Jordan – 2012-10-01
  • Latvia (CETA)
  • Lithuania (CETA)
  • Luxembourg (CETA)
  • Malaysia (TPP)
  • Malta (CETA)
  • Mexico (NAFTA)
  • Mexico (TPP)
  • Netherlands (CETA)
  • New Zealand (TPP)
  • Panama – 2013-04-01
  • Peru (TPP)
  • Poland (CETA)
  • Portugal (CETA)
  • Romania (CETA)
  • Singapore (TPP)
  • Slovakia (CETA)
  • Slovenia (CETA)
  • South Korea – 2015-01-01
  • Spain (CETA)
  • Sweden (CETA)
  • Ukraine – 2015-07-01
  • United Kingdom (CETA)
  • United States (CUSFTA)
  • United States (NAFTA)
  • United States (TPP)
  • Vietnam (TPP)

Unless otherwise indicated by a broader trade agreement in brackets, all nations listed have individual agreements with Canada:

CETA – Canada-Europe Trade Agreement
CUSFTA – Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement  (1989-01-01) (superseded by NAFTA)
NAFTA – North America Free Trade Agreement – 1994-01-01

TPP – Trans-Pacific Partnership – 2015-10-05

CCClogo-small

Canada…Still Glorious, Still Free

Canada is more than a location, a huge land mass, a country, a set of borders, a group of people with a common language, government and currency. Canada is an idea: the founding of a collection of souls from around the world into one fold, with a common set of values, a common bond of pride in who we are, what we have done and where we are going.


images (3)As Canadians from sea to sea to shining sea gather together today with their friends, families or entire communities to celebrate the 149th Birthday of the Dominion of Canada – the land we love so much – a few things popped in and out of my head as I thought about our homeland.

I’m happy to report that this morning, as I did last Canada Day morning 2015, and as has been the case every other morning of our lives in Canada thus far…. we all woke up free.

Having a hard time grasping how precious that is, or what that even really means? I completely understand and could relate – until, that is, I got on a jetliner and headed to Australia, France, Spain, North Africa and all over the United States. And suddenly, it all became incredibly obvious how blessed we are as Canadians to live in a mosaic of cultures that still works.

Victoria, BC on Canada Day
Victoria, BC on Canada Day

It’s true that on this Canada Day perhaps more than any other in modern history, we are threatened by groups that want to wipe us off the planet, and the occasional drooling Neanderthal from this illiterate lot occasionally sneaks into our country to try to do so. ISIS has even threatened to kill Canadians in their own bedrooms in the past.

But we are not afraid. We have heard this all before. We heard it in the 1930s and 1940, generally followed by shrieking “Sieg Heils”. Adolf Hitler had 20 million soldiers in his Armed Forces – our entire population wasn’t that large. Regardless, our teenage boys and young adult men went over there by the hundreds of thousands – in fact, nearly 1 million Canadians total – and we barrel-rolled over his goose-stepping goons in France after storming the beaches of Normandy. Then we liberated the Netherlands before pushing the Nazi beasts all the way back into Germany, where their ultimate defeat awaited.

Look, some Canadians have lived through a record -81C temperature, and we all suffered under Free Trade, a 69 cent dollar, 20% interest rates, a 13.1% national unemployment rate and the GST. Pierre Trudeau (shivers)… and now his idiotic offspring. There’s really nothing out there that’s bigger than we can handle.

IMG_2473On this Canada Day, as with the 148 before it, Canadians will have a day of lawn chairs, hot dogs, and fireworks – and have you noticed how sunny Canada Days tend to be? But the day really begins the moment we catch a first glimpse of our iconic flag – snow white and crimson red – painted on a cheek, draped as a cape, emblazoned on a T-shirt, or hanging from a balcony.

As far as the experts in marketing will tell you, it’s one of the most brilliant, simplistically designed brands in the world – and the whole global village knows who it belongs to the moment they see it. Like the Red Cross flag it closely resembles, it speaks safety and healing and security to the masses of wounded, terrified, displaced peoples everywhere. Canadians have a reputation for quiet patriotism – until the flag comes out. Then it’s all bets off how emotional we are going to get.

We live in a peaceful land with a federal government which has never been overthrown or even temporarily supplanted in an internal coup. In fact, the very idea of Canadian democracy itself has never been truly threatened – not ever. In the 149 years of our national story, no foreign power has ever overrun our borders (except maybe Wal-Mart) – not once, not even for 5 minutes.

distinctive

Former Prime Ministers Jean Chretien (Liberal) and Stephen Harper (Conservative), political foes, enjoy a laugh together as they flew 18 hours to Nelson Mandela's funeral last year.
Former Prime Ministers Jean Chretien (Liberal) and Stephen Harper (Conservative), political foes, enjoy a laugh together as they flew 18 hours to Nelson Mandela’s funeral last year. They were joined by Canada’s first female Prime Minister, Kim Campbell (Conservative) and Brian Mulroney (Conservative) – the four lead Canada for nearly 30 years total.

And you can be absolutely certain of one thing – in Canada, the wider the pendulum swings back and forth, the quieter the streets will be the next morning. We have never protested the results of elections being won by illegal means or so ridiculously close to call we waited days for the results – because it’s never happened. If Canadians are happy with a government or have no reason to be mad, they could stay elected forever. But if we are furious with them, we wipe them off the face of the earth or whip them back to the doghouse and give the other side fair chance to prove themselves. There are no dynasties or guys that we just can’t get rid of. We took Brian Mulroney’s massive majority government down to two seats in the next election. We’d never wipe out a ruling party though because we know eventually they’ll be needed again. Our politics are just that logical.

There have been no riots on election days, no rubber bullets, no tear gas. If our guy loses, we get up and put our pants on the next morning one leg at a time as we always have, perhaps grumble at the water cooler when we get to the office – then graciously accept the fact we’re gonna be slightly irritated by the new Prime Minister for his entire term – unless of course, he surprises us by doing something out if the ordinary that we can actually relate to, and he becomes “our man” (perhaps for that hour) as well.

IMG_2474Since the founding of Canada in 1867, we have had 149 consecutive years of total peace within our borders – there has never been a war or rumour of war. I am not sure that any other country on earth can make such a claim.

Our military is small but mighty. We dared to stand tall even the United States of America in the War of 1812, crossing the border and setting many public buildings on fire including the White House (which we burned to the ground – sorry about that!), and then successfully returning all our troops home.

  • In World War I, just 50 years along as a nation, we conquered Vimy Ridge when no one else could. We mobilized an army that was nearly 8% of our entire country’s population. We were often used as cannon fodder, and far too many of our boys died in places like Passchendaele, Ypres, and the Somme, that we could barely spell or pronounce. But we fought for King and in so doing, we became a country.
  • In World War II, our farm boys from Saskatchewan and city slickers from Vancouver and Toronto all stormed the same Juno Beach together, and were the only country on D-Day – June 6, 1944 – to successfully land our troops and push into Nazi territory, completing all of our ordered objectives. Then we waited for our British and American allies to catch up. We continued the push across Europe and almost single-handedly liberated the Netherlands from Nazi tyranny. It should be again stated that Hitler’s armies numbered nearly 20 million – larger than our entire Canadian population. But we were not going to be defeated. Oh, and by the way, the Netherlands still celebrates a special “Canada Day” ever year, as their eternal thanks for their liberation. It makes me emotional even to think about it now.
  • We served in many other conflicts, liberating captive populations and policing others in Korea, Kosovo, and Kuwait. We became known as the peacekeepers – we were the ones that no one wanted to mess with privately, but publically, oh they may have made fun of our older weapons and tanks and planes. But we have a secret that makes all that new-fangled, high-tech equipment today mostly irrelevant anyway. There have been very few moments in history when any other nation on earth has ever wanted to actually harm us. But shhhhhhh, keep that under wraps.

Oh yes, the world laughs at us for being so polite. We apologize…sometimes several times… when someone else walks into us, and I’m sorry I have to even admit that to you. We’re so mild mannered and boring up here, there were actually some Americans over the decades who believed we were closed on the weekends. The entire country.

Terrorists don’t generally want to blow us up. They barely remember we’re here. No one goes on television or radio or stands in large rallies and screams “Death to Canada” or brags about the missiles they can launch now upon Toronto or Montreal. It just simply doesn’t happen. EVER.

And you know why? Because they love us. Deep down, they all really do love us.

Canada Day fireworks over Parliament Hill, Ottawa
Canada Day fireworks over Parliament Hill, Ottawa

The 2015 report from the Reputation Institute ranked Canada as the #1 most reputable country in the world, based on a variety of environmental, political, and economic factors. Oh, and we have been one of the top two countries EVERY year for the last 10 years in a row.

Our former Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, said it best on Canada Day 2013, when he described Canadians as..

“Compassionate neighbours, courageous warriors, and confident partners, a bastion of freedom in an un-free world, a standard-bearer of goodwill, in a time when too many choose to hate, a land of hope in a sea of uncertainty.”

May God keep our land…glorious and free!

CCClogo-small


By Shawn J., Founding Editor
Calling Out Community
Posted July 1, 2015. Updated July 1, 2016

We’d love to hear from you:

FacebookTwitterEmail Google+