Minister John McCallum claims “large majority of Canadians favour the Syrian refugees”
Saving Globalization: Canada’s McCallum Sees Competitive Edge in Immigration
America’s neighbor is open for investment, trade, and … people
July 20, 2016 — 11:16 AM EDT
Globalization is under fire in some developed economies. But in parts of the Americas voters are embracing leaders looking to deepen integration and trade. Bloomberg Benchmark is publishing a series of conversations with regional thought-leaders on the topic of globalization. John McCallum is Canada’s immigration minister in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s new Liberal government.
As an economist, McCallum was the first to document how companies have a propensity to trade within national borders. Bloomberg’s Theo Argitis conducted the interview, which was condensed.
What is the role of immigration in globalization? Are there limits to how fast a country can grow its population and labor force from abroad?
I think the openness of Canadians to immigrants is a competitive advantage for Canada. A large majority of Canadians favor the Syrian refugees. A major problem I have is I cannot bring refugees in fast enough to satisfy the generosity of Canadians who want to take them in. I think compared with most other countries Canadians have an openness to immigrants, an openness to diversity that is an economic benefit from the point of view of the economy. We have an aging population, we have labor shortages in many areas so we do need immigrants. And I think given the attitude of Canadians, we are well positioned compared with other countries to attract immigrants.
Should we be worried the era of trade liberalization is over?
No, certainly not for Canada. As enthusiastic about trade liberalization as we ever were, you are right, not everybody shares this view. But we certainly do so. We are working very hard to get the European deal, CETA, approved and we are working to liberalize trade in other countries and Asia and elsewhere and we clearly want to continue.