Monday, July 16, 2012
Canada, the world’s next superpower?
Since Iceland’s financial collapse in 2008, the country has debated whether it should stick with the krona or adopt the currency of another country. The obvious choice seems to be for Iceland to submit to, say, oil-rich Norway or maybe even join the EU and adopt the euro. But another currency has entered the debate. And it’s a little “loonie.” That’s right: Iceland might adopt the Canadian dollar as its official currency. There are precedents, of course – El Salvador and Ecuador have both adopted the U.S. dollar in the past – and, on paper, the decision seems to make sense for both Canada and Iceland. Iceland would have a currency overseen by a very strong central bank. Canada would get even more influence in the Arctic region. And it would probably increase foreign trade for both countries. And Canada might be into it. On Friday, Alan Bones, Canada’s ambassador to Iceland, said, “What we know about the nature of the final agreement depends very much on the expectations of both countries. But in a straightforward unilateral adopt of the Canadian dollar by Iceland, where it’s clear there’s no input into monetary policy, then we’d be certainly open to discussing the issue.” So, should the U.S. be worried? Is Canada really a rising imperial superpower? We took a closer look at our neighbor to the north, and this is what we found: Canada has the 10th-largest economy in the world. Its unemployment rate is 7.6%, compared with our 8.3. Canada has a Triple-A (Eh!) rating. And, after the U.S. delayed the Keystone pipeline, Prime Minister Stephen Harper went to China to discuss redirecting its oil (Canada is the sixth-largest oil-producing nation in the world) to the Pacific coast – where China’s ships are waiting. But maybe the worst part: The person who brought this story to my attention is a Canadian. They really are everywhere. Do you think Canada could really be a world superpower? Should the U.S. be worried that Canada is bailing out other countries? What are your thoughts on the pipeline?