Canada Could Hurt Firms It Tries to 'Protect'
Blocking US purchase of space division is 'significant risk'
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2008 3:28 PM CDT
The offices of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. are pictured in Richmond, Canada, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008.    (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Richard Lam)
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(Newser) – A move last month by the Canadian government to block the country's top space-tech firm from selling one of its divisions to a US buyer illustrates a tricky balancing act, Christopher Sands writes in the American: How far should Ottawa go to appease nationalist sentiment if it eats into economic benefits? The wariness, Sands notes, extends back to colonial days.

"Canada appears to be gambling that it can protect MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates without scaring off US investors and jeopardizing inflows of foreign direct investment into its defense technology sector," Sands writes. Sure, PM Stephen Harper could help boost confidence in Canada's space sector, "but he’s taking a significant risk" of hurting other industries or scaring off big US companies—and the Pentagon.