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E-M:/ Pro Hockey at NAFTA's Mercy: Is nothing sacred?

Enviro-Mich message from anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org

With the Redwings still alive in the playoffs, this seems relevant to
Enviro-Mich folks!  Anne

 First dolphins, then turtles, now Gretsky.  Read it and weap sports fans:
 Canadian trade expert says U.S. teams unfairly subsidized
         Associated Press 
         OTTAWA -- An international trade expert Tuesday urged the Canadian 
         government to investigate whether subsidies given to NHL teams in the 
         United States might violate the North American Free Trade Agreement.
         Appearing before a parliamentary subcommittee studying the state of   
         sports in Canada, Barry Appleton said Canada's six NHL clubs could    
         use NAFTA to challenge hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies   
         given to U.S. clubs by local and state governments.
         The Toronto-based lawyer said the Canadian government has failed to   
         use sections of the trade deal to prod Washington to compensate       
         Canada's NHL teams.
         "When it comes to softwood lumber, salmon, automobiles or steel we    
         have no hesitation about getting in there," he said. "When it comes   
         to our national sport, why aren't we doing that?"
         Senior executives of several Canadian pro teams have told the         
         subcommittee over the past few weeks that they have trouble competing 
         because U.S. teams are given tax breaks, new arenas and other         
         "All I care about is that Canada's sports community is treated        
         fairly," said Appleton.
         John Klassen, the director general for trade policy with the          
         Department of International Trade, also appeared before the           
         committee. He wasn't swayed by Appleton's 25-page presentation.
         He offered to have department lawyers study the complicated section   
         on investments referred to by Appleton and other aspects of the deal, 
         but held out little expectation that Canada would raise the matter    
         with Washington.
         "We have some differences of view on whether or not there is a solid  
         case here under NAFTA. Our lawyers haven't really looked at this in   
         great detail," Klassen said. 

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