Shuli Rodal speaks to the National Post in “Hiding behind tariff walls no way to be competitive: Looking Beyond PROTECTION”

Shuli Rodal

Apr 10, 2013

Mary Teresa Biti, Driving Competition, National Post

(Extract)

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The world is too complicated and complex to apply dogma to how best to compete. The underlying reasons for restrictions vary with each industry and so each piece of legislation needs to be assessed individually, says Shuli Rodal, a partner in Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s Competition and Anti-Trust practice.

“In some cases, increased restriction to foreign ownership is a desire to keep the marketing more open. For example, the recent changes to the Investment Canada Act regime are applicable to state-owned investors specifically. The Prime Minister said the government is going to take a more restrictive view of controlling investments by foreign state-owned entities because over a number of years the Canadian government has denationalized a number of sectors to make them more competitive.

“We didn’t do that to have a foreign government come in and in effect nationalize them for another country,” says Ms. Rodal. “The goal is to keep the companies private. That’s the view of the government. The state-owned companies are saying they are market minded and will act like private sector companies.”

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When the government relaxed foreign ownership restrictions in the area of book retailing, the result was the entry of Amazon and iBook stores into Canada, which led to job creation here. “It was one of those cases where the way of doing business and technology overtook the policy rationale for the restriction,” says Ms. Rodal.

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