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In the U.S., the all-time peak in manufacturing employment was 1979. The all-time peak in manufacturing output was last June.

Pierre Fortin has been arguing lately (including in a recent op-ed in La Presse) that Canada needs to fix the exchange rate (and perhaps adopt the US dollar) in part to protect the manufacturing sector from the damage being done by exchange rate swings. Do you have any views on this argument given the above analysis?

Since the swings are being driven by the relative price of manufactured goods and commodities, it's hard to see how exchange rate policy could be effective. Regardless of what the exchange rate is doing, we'd still expect to see productive resources shifting out of manufacturing.

i look at the graphs and i think "hey, that free trade agreement certainly did wonders for our economy in the early 90s, didn't it!"

This is quite a common experience amongst developed economies. In the UK, the decline in manufacturing has been even sharper. The question is whether new jobs (and export revenue) can be created in other sectors like services.

Its simple you don't make nothing and you aint got nothin this is why were in a financial crisis. We dont work because the left made it unprofitable to hire workers. So now workers don't have jobs and the economy is going nowhere.

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