I’m sure some of my conservative friends will be slightly concerned that my previous two blogs make me sound a lot like a socialist. All this talk about planning and priorities sounds very Trudeau-esque.
Don’t worry—I haven’t lost my senses. I continue to have faith in free enterprise. I have no doubt, as the new world grows and prospers, that it will gradually see that state ownership is inefficient and leads to market distortions. But this will take time. As the march of history unfolds, the new mercantilism of the East will eventually give way to more private enterprise, just as it did in the West. I’m only saying that in the meantime, we have to deal with SOEs as legitimate players from emerging markets and be prepared to encourage them to invest in projects consistent with North American industrial priorities.