Newton’s Third Law of Motion- “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”- is in play in Canadian International Trade, following what I would like to call the Keystone Tipping Point.
Consider some of these headlines in Canadian Media:Canada’s trade vision shifts beyond the United States/ The Globe and Mail Canada’s oil industry faces an urgent search for new markets/The Globe and Mail
This weekend was a traumatic one for those involved with the Keystone pipeline project. The Keystone XL pipeline that was to carry crude oil from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico suffered a major setback that would turn the clock back by at least a year. The US State Department reckons that a decision on the project would take till end 2012 or even 2013- environmental issues being the ‘apparent’ reason.
So sans Keystone, what now? Just as water finds its own level, so will oil. Because, without the Keystone pipeline, Alberta’s oil sands have no market for their oil in the United States and will now have to look towards Asia to sell the crude. This could be a positive or a negative outcome, depending on a variety of issues.
But one outcome of this debacle is certainly positive: This clamour and consciousness about Canada needing to look past United States and examine its trade ties with the rest of the world- not just for oil but for all its goods and services has just about started. And in my opinion, it is high time.
And it looks like the Keystone effect will act as a tipping point for Canadian industry to sit up and look at new markets, irrespective of which industry you are from.
The question on every Canadian business owner’s mind should be: Is my mindset ready to be tipped?