Fishing for trouble

It was yet another trade fight and just another instance of the US bulldozing its way to achieve its own purpose. But this time the fight ensued across the border with its neighbour, Canada.

Utilising the conflict resolution norms stated in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the US forced Ontario to cancel a two-year regulation on the fishing of pickerels, also known as walleye. The regulation had stipulated that non-Canadian anglers could keep walleye and sauger fish caught from the Lake of the Woods on the Canadian bank only if they were staying in an Ontario lodge. While the Canadian contention was that it was a move to save the pickerel, the US insisted that the clause had to be eliminated in order to facilitate trade in pickerels.

To many Canadians, it was yet another instance of the US bullying Canada on trade issues. "We appear to be losing more than we should,' Peter Bleyer, executive director of the national group Council of Canadians was quoted as saying in the The New York Times . The organisation sent a "protest train' to Seattle to voice their resentment.