One of the arguments for a modern industrial strategy is that it would make it easier to ensure the long-term needs of the whole economy come before short-term considerations. The trade deal that the federal government just signed with South Korea is a good example of why we need a modern industrial strategy.
Unlike the trade deal the United States signed with South Korea, the deal Canada signed contains no “snap back” provisions to allow Canada to respond, if cars made in Canada are blocked from entering the South Korean market. Without these provisions, there is concern that barriers not covered by the trade deal will remain in place, and that the current trade imbalance will remain.
According to the National Post, in 2012, South Korea exported 124,000 cars to Canada and Canada exported 2,000 cars to South Korea.
Because the trade deals the federal government is signing with other countries generally provide increased legal rights for large corporations at the expense of low- and middle-income Canadians, it is very unusual for a large corporation to criticize them. It is a measure of just how much the trade deal with South Korea fails to address the needs of the economy as a whole that Ford Canada have criticized the deal.