Sunday, January 29, 2006

Mittal Plays Monopoly

In practical life we find not only competition, monopoly and the antagonism between them, but also the synthesis of the two, which is not a formula, but a movement. Monopoly produces competition, competition produces monopoly. Monopolists are made from competition; competitors become monopolists. If the monopolists restrict their mutual competition by means of partial associations, competition increases among the workers; and the more the mass of the proletarians grows as against the monopolists of one nation, the more desperate competition becomes between the monopolists of different nations. The synthesis is of such a character that monopoly can only maintain itself by continually entering into the struggle of competition.
Karl Marx
The Poverty of Philosophy
Chapter Two: The Metaphysics of Political Economy

Mittal is the largest steel company in the world and about to become bigger. Mittal waited like a bird of prey this week as two majour European steel companies; Arcelor and ThyssenKrupp
finalized a three month bidding war for Canadian steel maker Dofasco. In a smooth move out of a game of five card stud Mittal shocked the business world, by its acquisition of the successful bidder for Dofasco; Arcelor

In a move that was strictly casino capitalism in the raw Mittal sat out the bidding war for Dofasco between
Arcelor and ThyssenKrupp.ThyssenKrupp quit bidding at the begining of this week at $68 a share and Dofasco accepted Arcelor offer of $71 per share.

Mittal swooped in on the cash weakened Arcelor and in a hostile bid offered to buy it, funding part of its vulutre capitalisation by selling Dofasco to
ThyssenKrupp for its last bid price. This dumbfounded Wall Street analysists, though some suspected but could not prove collusion between ThyssenKrupp and Mittal.

What Mittal gets is the Iron Ore out of Dofasco, which is what they want for their other Canadian and American mills and to be dominante player in the steel market in North America.
ThyssenKrupp gets Dofascos steel operations. Overall its a brilliant play. It eliminates one of Mittals major competitors in Europe, gets it a sold source of Iron Ore, whose price will go up, and keeps ThyssenKrupp in line.

As Globe and Mail Reporter Eric Reguly points out this is all about increasing prices for Iron Ore and Steel and their impact on the global automotive market.
It creates a further monopolizaition in the market place.

Think of the outcome of the merger mania as the steel world's answer to OPEC.

Pricing power is a polite way of saying prices will go up. About a tonne of steel goes into a car. Steel prices (for the industry standard hot rolled coil, whatever that is) have soared to about $550 a tonne from about $350 a couple of years ago.

If industry consolidation works the way the evil steel geniuses hope it works, you could see $750 steel. That means you'll pay $200 more for your car. Or it means GM and Ford, which need higher steel costs like they need another SUV rollover crisis, will get tipped into bankruptcy.

Anything made of steel, or with steel components, from air conditioners to washing machines, will cost a little bit more. That's inflationary and that's the price you'll have to pay for living with global-sized companies in the global economy. Tell your boss you want a steel surcharge on your salary (to go on top of the fuel surcharge). But we digress.

Don't blame poor Mr. Mittal. Trends beget trends and he's probably just reacting to the one that started not long ago among the iron ore producers. Iron ore is used to make steel. When iron ore goes up, steel goes up.

Iron ore prices have doubled since 2004. How did that happen? Try consolidation. Three companies that were already iron ore players -- CVRD of Brazil, BHP Billiton of Australia and Britain's Rio Tinto --went on buying sprees and now control about 80 per cent of global supply. Arcelor and ThyssenKrupp went after Dofasco partly because it pumps out more iron ore than it needs for its own steel production.

All of a sudden, a consolidated iron ore industry confronted a fragmented steel industry. It was a classic squeeze play. The steel makers had to pay high prices to the iron ore makers, but had trouble passing on the extra cost to the steel users. Merging the steel makers is the fix-it plan and it seems to be working beautifully.

Watch the next round of price negotiations with the auto makers. If they don't want to pay more, they can shop somewhere else. Good luck sucker! There ain't nowhere else.

But doesn't Economics 101 say that rising prices will attract competitors, pushing prices back down? Forget what you learned. Steel plants cost billions to construct. Would you authorize an investment of that size knowing that the guys who have the power to raise steel prices also have the power to drop them and make life miserable for wannabe competitors? Not likely.

This helps to explain why Mittal, Arcelor, ThyssenKrupp and the industry's other consolidators are willing to pay outrageous multiples for companies such as Dofasco. As an investor, the prices don't make sense.

But these guys aren't investors; they're strategic buyers. Paying $5.5-billion (Canadian) or so for Dofasco looks expensive on paper. The price, though, is still half the cost of building a Dofasco from the ground up and negotiating new sales contracts. In effect, the buyers are paying a premium for lasting pricing power.

Mittal was not a player in the bidding war
for Dofasco since it had already bought into the North American market last years with the acquisition of American International Steel Group. With high praise from the Canadian born President of the USWA.

Man of steel soars ever higher

Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers of America, describes Mr. Mittal as very smart and very strategic.

"This guy's got guts," Mr. Gerard says. "When you go from being perceived as a bottom feeder that doesn't have long-term durability and over 15 years become the possibility of a 100-million-ton company, you don't do that because you're risk-averse."

Mr. Gerard first encountered Mr. Mittal when the Indian entrepreneur tried to acquire a tiny steel maker in Johnstown, Pa., in the 1990s. He recalls that the union fought the deal on the basis of Mr. Mittal's reputation as a bottom feeder.

But at Sidbec, "they've invested a lot of money in that mill, so he's sort of moved away from his bottom-feeder mentality to one that invests a lot of money in the facilities," Mr. Gerard observes. "He buys them to run them."

One industry observer says Mr. Mittal lets local nationals manage the various organizations in 14 countries but there is always a Lakshmi Mittal loyalist, often an Indian-born manager, in some senior position, such as chief financial officer.

Mr. Mittal took over the title of industry leader in October, 2004, when his company bought International Steel Group Inc., controlled by Mr. Ross, who had taken advantage of a down cycle in the industry to assemble a collection of distressed U.S. steel assets. Mr. Ross did well on his investment, and is now one of Mr. Mittal's biggest board supporters.

The joy that Brother Gerard experesses is one of the new labour attitude towards globalization. It is begining to accept free trade as good for its members, that is good for the fragmented international (in name only) unions in North America versus their industrial counterparts in Europe such as the German and French unions. Like the competing national capitals and global monopolies in steel and automotives, these national unions only look after themselves.

Arcelor unions in France see job cuts if Mittal offer succeeds

In the case of Canada Brother Gerard has not been a friend of Canadian workers, as his union promoted American protectionism against cheap imported steel during the last WTO meeting in Hong Kong. See:
Time For A Canadian Steel Workers Union Gerard is perhaps hoping that the silver lining of the takeover of Dofasco will open this once anti-union shop to a union drive for USWA.

In fact Mittal began as a small family based steel company in India and built its way into the market by actually using capital for production rather than using companies as capital for investors. If anyone is a bottom feeder in the world steel market it is the once dominant American steel industry. Which has sold off its holdings for a better corporate placement on Wall Street. Which has meant the closing of main street in Steel Towns across America.

And with success comes the trappings of success. Typical of the Corporate Monopoly capitalist with his trappings of the new economic Aristocracy the Mittal family was caught up in scandal in England. And with questions of how transparent their business practices are.

Mr Mittal is an intensely private family man but his name broke on to the business pages in 2002 when he was involved in a “cash for favours” political row. It emerged that shortly after Mr Mittal had made a £125,000 donation to the Labour Party, the Prime Minister wrote to his Romanian counterpart supporting a bid by the tycoon’s company, LNM, for Sidex, Romania’s state steel firm.

Mr Blair insisted that he did not know that Mr Mittal was a Labour donor and that he had offered his support because the deal, which went through for £300 million, represented British interests.

In 2004 the extravagant celebrations for the wedding of his daughter Vanisha propelled Mr Mittal back into the newspapers. The family hired the Palace of Versailles in Paris and paid Kylie Minogue and numerous Bollywood stars to perform for the 1,000 guests at a reported cost of £30 million.

Mittal CFO says family control worries misplaced

What Mittal has done as well is move from being a Private family owned company to becoming a major investor driven monopoly.

MITTAL STEEL’S audacious $23 billion (£13 billion) bid for Arcelor, its nearest rival, set off a political storm yesterday as the French and Luxembourg Governments expressed concern about the future of a major industrial employer.

Thierry Breton, the French Finance Minister, said he was concerned about the “implications for European and French industry and for employment” if Mittal’s attempt to create the world’s first 100 million tonne-plus steelmaker succeeded.

The Luxembourg Government, which holds a 5.6 per cent stake in Arcelor, described the steel group as a “strategic interest”.

Arcelor’s board will meet tomorrow to consider Mittal’s unsolicited approach, which is 75 per cent paper and 25 per cent cash, but the Luxembourg-based group has already expressed concern at the hostile nature of the bid.

Mittal has offered €28.21 per Arcelor share, which represents a 27 per cent premium to Thursday’s closing price, a record high for the European steel group.

Lakshmi Mittal, the billionaire owner of Mittal Steel, did not rule out a higher offer yesterday.

The proposed $23 billion transaction includes a side deal that would see Dofasco, the Canadian steelmaker bought by Arcelor in the past few days, sold to ThyssenKrupp of Germany. Arcelor outbid ThyssenKrupp in a fierce battle for the Canadian group this week.

Arcelor deal to open up global markets

DELHI: In a move that will set about a churn in the global steel industry, Mittal Steel has made a $23bn hostile bid for its closest rival, Arcelor. Under the offer, Arcelor shareholders will get four Mittal Steel shares and e35.25 for every five Arcelor shares.

“We believe the offer provides a very attractive premium and has been structured, so that Arcelor shareholders have the opportunity to participate in the exciting growth potential of the combined company, whilst also receiving a generous cash element,” Lakshmi N Mittal, chairman and CEO, Mittal Steel, said after announcing the deal.

Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and HSBC are advising Mittal Steel. Analysts see the deal as one which will lead to major consolidation in an industry in the midst of a revival.

What worries
Arcelor and the French government is that their state run monopoly is about to be absorbed into a much larger private monopoly, one that will impact on their automotive industry which relied on the cozy relationship between them to keep steel prices fixed and to keep car prices fixed. The fix was in and now it ain't.

Peugeot says 'cautious' on steel sector competition after Mittal's Arcelor bid

PARIS (AFX) - Peugeot said it is 'cautious' about the state of competition in the steel sector, following the takeover bid for Arcelor launched by Mittal Steel.

The group refused to express an opinion on the bid, but did say that it would follow events closely, 'in the knowledge that we already have concerns about the state of competition in the steel sector.'

Meanwhile, Renault has refused to comment on the takeover bid on the grounds that 'the operation is not complete' but, like Peugeot, it added that 'we are looking to limit as much as possible increases in the cost of raw materials.'

Steel Merger Would Hurt French Autos
1557 GMT [Dow Jones] A merger between Arcelor (5786.FR)and Mittal Steel (36194.AE) would hurt French car makers, says Jens Schaettner, automotive analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein. "It's generally negative news for the car industry, as it would increase the negotiating power of the steel makers. And it would be particularly negative for French companies, as Arcelor has traditionally been a main supplier to Renault (13190.FR) and Peugeot-Citroen (12150.FR). Renault +0.6% at EUR78, Peugeot-Citroen +0.1% at EUR49.06. (DGP)

Top 10 producers

Ranked by raw steel volume produced, in millions of tonnes.


Mittal SteelNetherlands60.9
Nippon SteelJapan32.4
JFE HoldinJapan31.6
PoscoSouth Korea30.2
Shanghai BaostelChina21.4
U.S. SteelUnited States20.8
CorusNetherlands, Britain19
NucorUnited States17.9

Figures have been updated to include Mittal's acquisition of U.S.-based ISG in 2005 and the planned acquisition by Arcelor of Dofasco.


Also see: Steel Wars-Why Isn't This An Election Issue


What this means for automotive manufacturing in Europe and North America is the same. Increasing monopolization of Iron Ore and Steel as Reguly points out will increase prices. These price increases will go to the Automotive industry, already in a crisis, and will force up car prices. The consumer will pay.

But the monopolizaiton of Steel can also be seen as the evolution of capitalism, the big fish eating the small fish. In this case its impact will be felt not only on the Steel industry, and resourc industry in Canada around Iron Ore, but will be felt in the auto industry. An industry that is sadly a state capitalist monopoly in North America.

GM and Ford have failed to change. They have relied on state bailouts from both the U.S. and Canadian governments in the past. Chrysler on the other hand also took handouts but the last time it was bailed out it was sold to the Germans. Good deal that. Look at GM and Ford today economic basketcases. Though Ford has bought up companies in Europe and Korea it has not adapted to Toyotaism. In failing to do so they have become economically unviable. They need to be replaced. There is massive global overproduction of cars.

GM, the Delphi Concessions, and North American Workers: Round Two? by Sam Gindin

In order to reduce production costs and prices there needs to be winnowing of the marketplace. Literally globalization is NOT America's friend. Neither is real Free Trade. Contrary to the American Enterprize Institute and other cheerleaders of the Empires ability to compete, it can't on a level playing field. Amercian monopoly corporations like GM and Ford and USS Steel, rely on the State for subsidies, protectionism and tarrifs.

American capitalism is casino capitalism, GM made more money last year on its Credit Card operations than it did on manufacturing and selling automobiles.
And in selling off Delphi, it cut its nose to spite its face. Delphi was it's major secondary source of car parts, but its liabilities were pensions, wages and benefits. It's competi
on was Canadian corporations like Stronach's Magna International. What's good for GM is bad for Workers

Mittal by comparison buys steel companies and re-invests in them to make them productive, either on their own or as part of its global business. It looks at producing for its market, not using its corporate capital as a way of playing on the Stock market.

Combined with America's new deficit and debt crisis where it now owes more than it takes in in investment, the need for winnowing of industry's is becoming more and more inevitable. It is the curse of the marketplace, as Herbert Spencer so rightly said before Darwin, it is the survival of the fittest.Economics, Evolution and Mutual Aid And the American State Capitalist corporate infrastructure is not fit.

America's economy Danger time for America

Economics focus America's dark materials

Canada has benefited from NAFTA. Even the Left admits this. Under NAFTA our manufacturing has increased. We have secondary production of car parts. We have primary production of iron ore and steel. We are well placed with a highly skilled workforce, technologically advanced plants and we have a social system which includes medicare, that allows capitalists in Canada an advantage over their American counterparts.

Indeed the success of Toyota internationally is that it is the number one car maker in the world, and in the U.S. it's factories are located in both right to work states and unionized ones. While the Republicans cheer right to work and unions hiss, the reality is most Right To Work states in the U.S. were that before manufacturing of automobiles moved there. That means its actually tax and property incentives that attracts automobile manufacuters. State Capitalism by any other name.

The other difference is that Toyotism is a change in production. Steel is big in Alabama for instance, a right to work state, and thus a source of material for foreign car makers. Two Very Different U.S. Auto Industries: 'The Rouge' Vs. Alabama What limits Ford is its reliance on a single source single plant operation, the Rouge, that created Fordism but is now an albatross in the world of just in time production.How Ford Screwed Up

CNN’s Dobbs Blames Free Trade, Non-Union Labor for Ford’s Woes But foreign cars produced in the U.S. are largely made in union-friendly states.

An old-fashioned labor struggle
New Fletcher goal an old idea: 'Right to work'

The fierce competition between Kentucky and Alabama for a Hyundai assembly plant went down to the wire in spring 2002. But initially, Kentucky wasn't even considered an option, said Gene Strong, Kentucky's secretary of economic development cabinet.

Bluegrass officials found out through the grapevine that the Korean automaker was talking to other states and quickly put together a package that promoted a site, the state's low energy costs and other advantages and touted possible economic incentives. "We simply bowled our way through the process and almost made it to the finish line,'' Strong said.

But the initial exclusion wasn't unusual, he said, because Kentucky seems to be on the "no-call list'' of many people who select sites for industrial prospects.

The problem, Strong said, is that Kentucky isn't a so-called right to work state, a reference to the controversial debate over whether collective bargaining agreements in the state can allow a union to either require membership or payment of "core fees'' at certain plants.

"It's clearly a factor, but it's just one of many factors,'' Carrell said. "Over the years I don't think there's ever been concrete, absolute evidence that it makes a huge difference, but there's always been anecdotal evidence.''

Carrell said the difficulty in evaluating the issue is factoring out geographic differences and differences in things like taxes, incentives, education of workers and construction costs.

Right to work was allowed after fears that unions had too much strength gave birth to the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, which assigned states the unusual right to supercede federal laws governing labor, he said. States in the South and lower Midwest, which were long distrustful of organized labor, quickly took advantage of it. Only Oklahoma in 2001, Idaho in 1986, Louisiana in 1976 and Wyoming in 1963 have passed the law since the 1950s.

The urgency seems to have lessened, Carrell said, because of states' greater use of things like tax incentives to recruit businesses and by decreasing union membership, which was at 20.1 percent nationwide in 1983 and 12.5 percent in 2004. In Kentucky, 9.6 percent of workers belong to a union, according to labor bureau statistics.

And the state's massive Toyota plant in Georgetown has brought an array of spin-off manufacturing businesses.

With this environment, union officials say they aren't worried: They say Fletcher has neither the power nor the political skills to get it passed


That mentality results in GM and Ford cutting Canadian jobs and close factories which are more economical and productive than American ones due to politics. Buzz Hargrove who was so concerned this last six weeks about getting Paul Martin elected to save his tax credits to these two dinosaurs, should have spent more time trying to get Toyota and Honda unionized, and getting them the tax breaks in return. More job cuts - and union chief seems to be complacent

As I have said before Buzz's Strategic Voting strategy this election in favour of the Liberals was all about saving the Provincial and Federal captial investments in GM and Ford Canada. Which did not save jobs. Again neo-liberal State Capitalism failed.

Buzz went so far as to have his Chief Economist Jim Stanford campaign for a Toyota Executive who was running for the Liberals. No Toyota is not unionized, but Buzz was hoping to get his foot in the door. Typical strategy, not of a radical syndicalist union, a real union of the workers organizing themselves, for business unions. Make a deal with the bosses to represent the workers on the shop floor. In this case using taxpayers money to shore up these capitalist enterprizes.

Thats because Buzz, the Steelworkers and other Ontario based industrial unions are stuck in the Auto-Pact mentality of the last fifty years. Its Keynesian state capitalism that shored up the big three American auto-makers on both sides of the border.

But with the advent of Toyotaism and the rise of the just in time production changed all that. As I said Canada benefits from this our primary resources, iron ore, secondary production, steel, tertiary production cars, and car parts are all booming. We can go it alone and compete with the declining American auto market. We are not producing vehicles just for Canada but for the U.S. and Mexico. And while some jobs have shifted to Mexico not as many have as in the U.S. Our industry could expand with the development of hybrid cars, something the NDP ran on in this last election campaign.

April, 2004 Sam Gindin The Auto Industry - Concretizing Working Class Solidarity:
Internationalism Beyond Slogans

But as long as our International and national business unions rely on their outdated thinking that Free Trade is anathema, rather than a boon to our national industry they and we will be subjected to American parochial economic nationalism. They don't care about the auto pact, never did, it was a sop to Canada.

American corporations are jingoist, they have to be. They have no interest in maintianing plants here if it costs them jobs in the U.S. and thus political capital with the American people and their government, regardless of which party is in power.

GM and Ford are willing to forgo tax credits, profits, heck even productivity (that demon of capitalism) for their American Corporate politics.

Auto industry changes economy
At the same time, companies such as Ford and GM are American icons. Because of this iconic status, Ford and GM are often seen as bellwethers of the U.S. economy. When these icons make large job cuts, the public takes notice and concludes that the whole economy is in trouble. Yet, the truth is that Ford and GM are no longer the whole picture in the U.S. industry. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, BMW and Mercedes (even before the merger with Chrysler) have U.S. manufacturing plants. In fact, The Washington Post recently noted that Toyota assembles in North America 65 percent of all the vehicles it sells in the U.S. market. With these companies now producing cars in the U.S., employment in the U.S. auto industry has, until the most recent round of cuts, been fairly steady over the last decade. Further, according to information from National Public Radio, the manufacturing jobs at Toyota, while non-unionized, pay about $27 an hour versus $31.35 an hour at GM.

Looking For A Better Idea At Ford

This is now: Market share for the Big Three has shrunk to just above 50%. General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler have all been laying off workers and shutting plants in a desperate bid to create a more competitive profile.

While we lament the loss of jobs that this restructuring requires, the result will in fact be a boon to America. The model of the big corporation as a social welfare adjunct to the U.S. government is dying fast. A new, nimbler capitalism is growing up in its place.

That can be seen in the restructuring that Ford announced on Monday. As restructurings go, this one is actually quite modest. Yes, 25,000 to 35,000 jobs will be shed — but over a period of six years. Many will be lost through attrition and retirements rather than layoffs.

Like the rest of Detroit, Ford must change — and fast. The chart alongside shows how real auto output has jumped in the last 15 years while employment has stayed flat — all part of the miraculous productivity shift that took place in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

No question, GM and Ford are struggling. They make more cars than the market wants, and their costs are higher than their competition. Meanwhile, Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai are doing quite nicely. Together, they make millions of cars, trucks, SUVs and minivans right here in the U.S., with American workers, managers, equipment, even capital.

This isn't about America vs. the world. Today, U.S.-made Hondas are just as American as Fords. Or, as Cato Institute economist Alan Reynolds recently noted, "General Motors and Ford have always been global companies whose corporate headquarters happened to be in the United States."

The industry isn't dead, just the American model for it.

After World War II, big American companies hired massive, unionized work forces and bought labor peace by granting them extraordinary cradle-to-grave benefits — mostly defined-benefit deals that included both retirement and health care. U.S. automakers led the way.

For a while, it worked — especially in a world where some of our toughest competitors still were rebuilding after war. But in an era of globalization, it no longer makes sense. U.S. companies simply seem to have forgotten to innovate — a dangerous thing in a fast-changing world. They have trouble aplenty just paying their rising corporate welfare costs to their workers.

Last summer, GM said it would get rid of 30,000 workers by 2008. Today, benefits account for more than 40% of GM auto workers' compensation — more than double what they did 40 years ago. Each GM car costs an extra $1,500 just to pay for workers' health care. GM, Ford, Chrysler — the whole industry — won't get better until they get out from under that. That's why they're so desperately retrenching.

Mittal has shown us the future of globalization and Free Trade. American captialism is not interested in production or productivity its only interested in investments, credit and money making money. The steel industry is becoming a smaller playing field with a concentration of strength in monopolies. American steel is not even a player in this market concentration. It will be gobbled up as it is sold off by its management and shareholders for investment profit. And like steel the world marketplace for cars is shriking. The Big Three are corporations doomed not by outmoded production, which is part of the problem, but by the short term greed of the new American casino marketplace which relies on Wall Street and profit from investment rather than production to drive the economy.
Consumption is driving the American marketplace not production. Investment in coupon clipping is creating a service based economy, not a productive one.

Unions resist by forging global links
Globalization a `two-edged sword'
Jan. 26, 2006. 08:14 AM

Management is demanding concessions and unions are resisting, he said. The board predicts average wage increases of 2.5 per cent for unionized employees in 2006, and doesn't see any major labour disruptions on the horizon. But the report says that a newly militant management is increasingly resorting to extremes like lockouts."Tough bargaining — look at the auto sector this year," Hallamore said. "It was remarkable what (Canadian Auto Workers president) Buzz Hargrove was saying after the Ford deal about having to accept in tough times agreements that don't have the kind of wage increases and benefit increases his members are used to. It's because they have to fight to hang on to their market share."That's remarkable to hear from any labour leader, particularly Mr. Hargrove."Citing recent Telus and CBC lockouts, Hallamore said, "The stakes are so high now that management is saying, `Look, we've got to do the lockout. We're talking about a complete overhaul in our industry ... and if the union isn't going to listen to us, we're not going to survive. We may as well shut down now, get the message across, and make the union understand that we're dead serious about this.'"And as management gets more militant, unions are fighting back."They're looking at the impacts of globalization as being primarily on the wages, benefits and, most importantly, the job security of their workers," Hallamore said. "So they're asking, `How can we counter this?'"He said unions are trying to go global just like their multinational employers. Unions are reaching out to workers in developing countries, helping them organize to improve wages and working conditions. Hallamore said there's a helpful impulse at work, but it's also a strategy to fight back. "If you raise wages in the Philippines (for example), maybe that makes a business case for sending work there from Canada a little less appealing to an employer."

The rational thing that a shift in globalized capitalism will bring as America increases its position as a debtor nation, is that Free Trade will harness productive capital in the international market to create more monopolies.

If Canada is to survive America's productive decline, and NAFTA accords us and Mexico that opportunity, we will have to finance and capitalize our primary, secondary and tertiary industries. We will have to increase our economic soverignty over our capitalist enterprizes, not for the sake of protectionism or tarrif barriers but to expand free trade. Otherwise America will drag us down with her bankrupt economy. NAFTA accords us the possibility of strengthening our ties with Mexico, and directing production to our two countries, by creating greater investment in our industries by tripartitism between capital, the state and the unions.

Not with neo-liberal fianancing but with good old fashioned state capitalism where taxpayer and union investments in corporations are followed with corporate directorships for citizen representatives; unions, consumer advocates, environmentalists, with corporate governance regarding sustainablility, community responsibility, union recognition, greening of industries.
Where shares issued are limited to majority control by Canadian investment funds primarily, such as the Ontario Teachers Pension fund and the Canada Pension Plan for example.

This is possible. It's a NEW way of thinking of state capitalism, one that is neither out right nationalization under a state beuracracy or neo-liberal corporate welfare.

And we will have to recognize, indeed encourage, structural change in industries, towards greater monopolization. The end of competing corporations in the nation state for singular corporate monopolies that can compete in the international marketplace. This is the evolution of the market in the current period of globablization and can be seen in Mittal, and in Barrick Gold.

Barrick-Placer together create world's biggest gold group

“Moreover, the protectionist system is nothing but a means of
establishing large-scale industry in any given country, that is to say,
of making it dependent upon the world market, and from the moment that
dependence upon the world market is established, there is already more
or less dependence upon free trade. Besides this, the protective system
helps to develop free trade competition within a country. Hence we see
that in countries where the bourgeoisie is beginning to make itself felt
as a class, in Germany for example, it makes great efforts to obtain
protective duties. They serve the bourgeoisie as weapons against
feudalism and absolute government, as a means for the concentration of
its own powers and for the realization of free trade within the same

But, in general, the protective system of our day is conservative, while
the free trade system is destructive. It breaks up old nationalities
and pushes the antagonism of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie to the
extreme point. In a word, the free trade system hastens the social
revolution. It is in this revolutionary sense alone, gentlemen, that I
vote in favor of free trade.”

ON THE QUESTION OF FREE TRADE Public Speech Delivered by Karl Marx
before the Democratic Association of Brussels January 9, 1848


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