Trade Winds (Canada) Ltd

Clive Robertson

1992, 14:00 minutes, colour, English


Narrated by Frances Leeming and Clive Robertson from a row boat on Kiamika Reservoir, Québec, the tape is an immediate piece of media talkback. The production began with the announcement (August 13th, 1992) of the NAFTA agreement between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. The tape was researched, recorded and edited in ten days for a SAW Video artists' television show aired on Rogers Cable, Ottawa on August 27th.

Introductory contexts are provided with off-air clips (The National, CBC; Living in America, PBS; The Tonight Show, NBC). The narrative details finance and industrial capitalism's practice of trade pacts as competitive protectionisms. Excerpting clips from two NFB documentaries (The Other Side of the Ledger: An Indian View of the Hudson's Bay Co., 1972 and Struggle for a Border: The New Equation - Annexation, 1968), the tape reprises Canadian history to demonstrate how trade policies and accompanying suspensions of social justice have consistently been determined by private interests. NAFTA is being sold as a "moral agreement" that will alleviate the poverty of the Mexican underclass, a promise which defies the intent and real outcome of such trade agreements.

Finally, the "living in America" excerpt names the severe upward transfer of wealth that has accompanied the political success of the U. S. corporate agenda in the last twenty years.

The narrative concludes by calling for a true global redistribution of wealth, education, and technologies by means of public regional alternatives to the imperatives of transnational capital.

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