Dec 27, 2003 1:43 am


It took a while but the Bush administration seems to be learning China's method of securing allies - using foreign business partners as lobbyists. Anytime the American administration hints at taking any steps to play hard ball with China, American businessmen descend on Washington pleading China's case.

The Bush administration sent Powell begging to Europe and got nada. This time, it gave Baker some serious ammunition. Don't be fooled by the good cup bad cop game, the argument reported bellow in Canada - is taking place all over Europe. French and German businessmen are on the phone telling their governments,"I told you so." Unfortunately, in the Middle East, countries like Egypt still get a pass (despite leading the anti-American band wagon in the Arab world) but, then, can their contractors be serious candidates for primary contracts?

'I told you so,' Klein tells Ottawa Lack of support for Iraq war costing Canada now, premier saysThat was the title of Edmonton Journal story -

Prime Minister Jean Chretien, whom Martin replaces this Friday, downplayed the impact on businesses, saying not many Canadians want to go to Iraq today because it is too dangerous. Firms from all countries are able to become subcontractors. Klein said he warned of the economic risks, earlier this year, if Canada did not support the Americans. The position of the U.S., he said, should figure into Ottawa's decisions about international affairs."I can say it right now, I told you so, that was one of the risks," Klein said."From a political perspective, I can understand the U.S. being miffed ... . I'm speaking for Canadian companies -- I would say to the U.S., 'I can understand your hard feelings.'" Washington appeared Wednesday to soften its position as President George W. Bush phoned the leaders of France, Germany and Russia and promised to"keep lines of communication open" to discuss which countries would be allowed to bid, a White House official said.

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