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This paper analyzes the entry into the European Community (EC) impacts on Spain and Portugal external Trade Balance (ETE). It points out that the dramatic increase of Iberian countries ETB deficit, since their adhesion to the EC, first January 1986, is mainly due to the strong growth of capital goods imports, in particular those from EC, in a context characterized by the gradual application of Customs Union mechanisms and the rise of internal demand. Then, it examines principal short and medium term measures susceptible to adjust Spain and Portugal ETB, especially restrictive economic policies and structural programs of modernization.
Technological cooperation between business enterprises has become common-place over the past ten years or so, following an increase in the uncertainty, risk, and costs of research and development brought about by growing international competition and the unsettling impact of data processing technologies (and to a lesser degree biotechnologies) throughout the entire industrial sector. Strategies in R&D cooperation, first adopted by Japanese corporations, were copied by European firms in the early 80s and then by American and Canadian corporations later on. Governments have got in on the action through policies for encouragement of collective R&D.
Current theories in economies and business administration are not very useful for understanding this phenomenon. Neo-classical economies' assumption of perfect competition, as well as dissertations on product obsolescence and transaction costs, permeate theories in business administration and do not help us comprehend this new organizational phenomenon. We have, however, come across some crucial leads towards an explanation in certain models of imperfect competition and in managerial studies on informal cooperation by businesses in R&D.
This article with minor revisions, was originally presented as a paper at the annual meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association in Victoria, B.C., May 27, 1990. Since then, Canada has been accused of simply following Washington's lead in sending troops to the Gulfand in seeking to join United States-Mexico free trade negotiations. These developments do not alter the paper's challenging conclusion : namely, that the current bilateral free-trade regime neither obliges nor justifies a subordinate Canadian foreign policy — however much the terms of the Free Trade Agreement may impinge on the international dimensions of some Canadian policies (e.g., on energy and investment), and notwithstanding the potential momentum (but uncertain prospects) of North American integration. Free trade, in fact seems to have increased, not reduced, the salience of the national question in Canada. As well, the Gulf crisis is a test more of United Nations resolve than bilateral solidarity. And on the trade front, Canada has been reminded of the extent to which it remains on its own. U.S. negotiators were angered by Canada's middle-ground position on agricultural subsidies - the issue over which GATT talks collapsed, increasing Canadian vulnerability. Moreover, Canadian participation in U.S.Mexico trade negotiations has been privately less welcome than the official public rhetoric suggests. More than ever perhaps, Canadian national interests depend on strong international diplomacy mode no less necessary, if arguably encumbered, by the evolving context of continental free trade.
Chronique des relations extérieures du Canada et du Québec