William Watson: War with Wallonia averted! National treatment survives! (maybe)

In the part of the Wealth of Nations where he talks about buying goods from neighbouring countries if they can produce them more cheaply than we can—“What is prudence in the conduct of every private family can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom” (Book IV, Ch 2)—Adam Smith tells of a war between France and Holland in 1672 that “seems to have been in part occasioned by [a] commercial dispute” triggered by Jean-Baptiste Colbert’s aggressive tariffs of 1667.For a while late last week and early this, it looked as if Canada might have to call up the

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