- employs a limited number of arguments to support personal opinion
- employs some arguments to support personal opinion
- employs a considerable number of arguments to support personal opinion
- thoroughly employs a number of arguments to support personal opinion
Overall Level: Student Name:
Areas to Review:
Note: A student whose achievement is below level 1 (50%) has not met the expectations for this assignment or activity.
Activity 2: Free Trade
Time: 225 minutes
This activity deals with the personalities and events that were involved in the free trade agreement between the United States and Canada. Students examine some of the arguments presented by both sides. They classify and evaluate the arguments and vote on the issue. They research the impact of free trade on the local business community.
MI3.03 - distinguish between fact and inference in primary and secondary sources.
Obtain a list of local business that can be contacted by students to survey the impact of free trade.
Photocopy the appendices that present arguments for and against free trade
Prepare the ballots for the mock free trade vote
Prior Knowledge Required
Students should be familiar with early economic policies such as the National Policy from Grade 8 History and the Reciprocity Election of 1911 studied earlier in the course.
Students are familiar with branch plant economics mentioned earlier in the course.
Teaching and Learning Strategies
1. Introduce the concept of tariffs and free trade by providing students with three scenarios. They complete a comparison chart with titles: prices in both countries, reason for price difference, who benefits and loses.
Scenario 1: A student has just received $20 as a birthday present. The student wants to buy a CD. The student lives in Windsor and CDs in that city cost $18.00. Across the river is Detroit the CD’s cost (with the currency exchange) $14.00. If you had your choice where would you go to purchase the CD? (Detroit) Why? (Cheaper) If you have a relative working in a CD store in Windsor, what is your concern? (Low sales, company downsizing, unemployment) What could you demand from the government to make Canadians buy your CD? (Raise tax on US CDs). If the Canadian government does this what will the US government probably do? (Raise its taxes).
Scenario 2: Do a demonstration of the issue by distributing $50 in play money. Give half the class one list of objects to purchase at one set of prices and the other half have a different list that takes into account an additional tariff charge. The class spends its money and each pair (one with and one without the tariffs) compare what they were able to purchase. Students report who was able to purchase more products. Why were prices cheaper for one and more expensive for another? (The added tariff). What could the government do to make this a fairer situation? (Lower tariffs). If the tariff is removed who will benefit? (Consumers). Who would lose out in such an arrangement? (The country with cheaper prices).
Scenario 3: Now examine a scenario with a pro free trade bent. You are a Canadian entrepreneur who has developed new computer software that allows teenagers to record and edit their own music. You have exclusive rights to this product and your product becomes very popular. Besides selling to Canadians, what larger market do you want to enter? (US). The US has a tariff on software. What do you want the Canadian government to do? (Negotiate a free trade deal). If you are allowed to compete in the US how will you get costumers to buy your product? (Advertise, drop price, good quality). Who benefits from this competition? (Consumer). Who benefits and suffers from high tariffs and free trade? For the purpose of these scenarios, the Canadian dollar is considered at par with the American dollar. Why would the value of the dollar have an impact on these scenarios?
Review the chart, and have students notice that freer trade can help and hurt certain segments of society.
3. Students review how Canadian economy grew after World War II and the continental aspect of trade, including a note on the increasing branch plant economy of the 1970s, by examining the relevant sections of their textbook. The teacher divides the class into groups responsible for examining the decades since World War II. They focus their reading on these subjects. The groups can summarize their research either by recording points on chart paper or on the board and orally explain their findings.
4. Students become familiar with the free trade issue by placing it in a historical context by reviewing events after the 1984 Conservative election. Students work alone or in pairs to classify the arguments that they find in their textbooks as for or against free trade. Students sit with a student who has read an opposing source and together they complete a chart comparing the arguments. Students are given ballots and asked to vote on accepting or rejecting free trade based on the arguments they have researched. After the vote is counted, debrief with the students by having them explain their reasons.
5. Students examine the Bishops document on free trade found in Love Kindness and determine if their arguments are new or a repetition of what has been represented. Students use the questions raised by the bishops to develop questions of their own for the next step of this activity (Appendix 5.2.1).
6. Has free trade been successful? Students survey working relatives or contact companies in towns and ask how free trade has impacted on their businesses. Develop a survey questionnaire that asks about where company is located; product sold; size of company; is it Canadian or foreign owned; how has free trade influenced them? Students present their results to the class and review their initial vote on free trade.
7. As a conclusion, students recognize how international Canada’s economy has become by locating five different items at home and determine where they were made. Students use different coloured pins on a wall map to chart the results. Finally, to determine if students’ community businesses have been influenced by global trade, they examine a phone book to determine what type of industries are located in the local community. The students could contact the businesses in order to determine if these businesses make products or import them; students could graph the results and predict what they think will happen to the Canadian economy in the twenty-first century if Canadian businesses continue to just import products and cut back on manufacturing. The teacher could have the students write a class letter with these predictions included and send them to the local Chamber of Commerce for reaction.