Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Technology Outdates Trade Rules

(Andrew Mayeda — Postmedia News/Regina Leader-Post)
Old measures fail to keep pace with knowledge-based economy

Open the back of a BlackBerry sold in Canada, and chances are you’ll find three words that speak volumes about Canada’s most celebrated modern-day invention: “Made in Mexico.”

The print may be small, but the implications are significant for Canada’s trade balance. When a BlackBerry assembled in Mexico crosses the border into Canada, the transaction is booked as an export from Mexico to Canada, despite the fact the device was designed and developed by some of Canada’s finest brain power at Research In Motion’s headquarters in Waterloo, Ont.

It’s an example of the occasionally absurd outcomes produced by the traditional approach to trade — a system of measuring global commerce that is becoming more old-fashioned with each text-message that pulses through the world’s wireless networks. Read more here.