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View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
I find the comment interesting, because we did hear a lot of testimony in the study of CUSMA that suggests otherwise, which is that actually what was put in CUSMA is going to benefit the existing large web giants that are predominantly located in the United States, and that what's in CUSMA forecloses on a lot of policy option debates within Canada.
I don't think it's just a simple matter of trying to level the playing field, because we heard very clearly that on some of the provisions you're talking about, it's not a level playing field right now and that those rules are to the benefit of the established players. While it may be a level playing field on paper, in practice it's not going to establish a level playing field, because you already have major players who have serious assets they can use to perpetuate their position within the industry. Also, it may actually be a serious barrier to entry into the industry for smaller players, as those larger players are allowed to continue to use their existing advantage against entry.
When you look at companies like Microsoft and Apple, for instance, and maybe particularly Microsoft, that actually seems to be the business model. It's to use their existing size and clout to keep smaller players out of the market or to only allow them to participate as start-ups that then, once they start to do something that could challenge the position of that larger company, they are bought out and assimilated into those companies.
For what it's worth, this is a word of caution. It sounds great to say that we're just trying to level the playing field, but I'm not convinced that's actually what's going on when we enshrine these kinds of rules. I do think that Canadians have a right to a meaningful policy debate, which is being circumvented by the government, first of all in CUSMA. I'm concerned that this is happening and that Canada is a proponent of circumventing our right to a domestic debate by already taking bullish action on these types of things at the international trade table.
Have I used all my time?
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