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A Canadian perspective.

Although my company (wholesale distribution of specialty steel products) is located in Canada and our sales to the U.S. market represent only a small percentage of total sales, Canada's dependency on a healthy economy of "our big brother to the South" has every Canadian CEO follow U.S. government trade policies and actions with keen interest.

Having traveled to China at least once annually for the past 30 years, I cannot help but marvel at the development and progress of China's industry and infrastructure. In contrast to Russia, China has managed to gradually move towards some form of capitalism without having relinquished ultimate control by its central government. No matter how one feels about the lack of a democracy, China's government deserves credit for creating an industrial powerhouse that has every other industrial nation shaking in its boots.

During the '70s and '80s, it was mostly European and Japanese companies that took advantage of the tremendous business potential in China, while North Americans concentrated mostly on importing cheap Chinese products. More recently, an increasing number of North American companies have successfully made inroads in the Chinese market, but constant China-bashing by U.S. politicians has definitely hurt their efforts.

One has to wonder about the U.S. insistence that China increases the value of its currency by as much as 20 percent or more, failing which the U.S. would impose special import duties of similar magnitude. Any increase in the yuan would further increase the U.S. trade deficit, although it could benefit countries such as India and others to some extent.

Creating a "Chinese wall" in North America will subvert any effort to gain a larger share of a market which still has the biggest growth potential of any market in the world.

Gary Scheichl

CEO

Vanguard Steel Ltd.

Mississauga, Ontario

In an online posting, "If Not Rick Wagoner, Then Who?" CE criticized those who seek to push Rick Wagoner out of his job as CEO of GM. A number of respondents were sympathetic to the embattled GM chief.

Rick Wagoner has the background, experience, temperament and commitment to see this thing through. He has brought in the talent required to bring GM back; the board is fully engaged (perhaps too much so, e.g., Mr. York) and behind him. Now is the time to stay the course.

John E. Sircy

President

Henry A. Petter Supply Company LLC

Paducah, Ky.

Employees of GM love their jobs and have pride in the work they are doing. They should have enough incentive to purchase the automobiles they are working on. If necessary, top management could offer some additional incentives to the employees so that all GM parking lots would be filled with GM cars for the world to see. This type of publicity would be far stronger than any money spent on advertising and promotions.

William B. Hunter

President

William Gladys Corp.

Glenview, Ill.
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Title Annotation:FEEDBACK
Publication:Chief Executive (U.S.)
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Jun 1, 2006
Words:485
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