In an article that I saw last night on the Financial Post, there was a headline which read
Ottawa had little choice in signing controversial deal with U.S. tax man
The ‘No Option, No Choice’ meme certainly has become a popular with journalist and politicians alike around the world. “We have NO Option” was the whimpering cry from Prime Minister John Key out of New Zealand.
Very disappointing to see these capitulations out of supposedly conservative governments who DO HAVE OPTIONS, they have just elected for political expediency, fear of the bully’s sanction, ‘everyone else is doing it’ justification, or the desire for another golf game with Obama, not to take any of them!
So, when I see these memes, I am starting to comment with my 10 Options. 10 is always a popular round number. Petros asked that I publish them, so here they are. I am sure you can come up with others.
1. Show some Canadian Pride and fortitude publicly! At least make a public statement of condemnation of U.S. negotiating practices and send it to the President along with a shredded copy of the IGA. Tell him CANADA is NOT a Tax Haven like America IS, and to stop the hypocrisy. Demand that Obama clean up his own back yard before coming North of the Border to extort his will.
2. You could form a coalition with the TPP partners and tell America to back off the extortion threats or all negotiations stop right now! That frankly will win you allies in the Democrat party that are needed to Repeal FATCA. Use that negotiation lever!
3. You could threaten America with taking it to the WTO for restraint of Trade for using Sanctions against Canada, a country whose FFIs have engaged in NO evasion or illegal Activity. How can you accept sanctions when you have done NOTHING to justify them? You are NOT Iran for god’s sake!
4. You could instruct Canadian financial institutions to retaliate and withhold 30% of any Canadian revenue that any US financial Institution holds in Canada. A tit for tat. You can extort TOO! That is the American ‘norm’ that they exporting for you to copy!
5. You could engage a U.S. Lobbying firm to team with with the Republicans (the Conservatives natural allies) to support their recent Repeal FATCA resolution. Americans know even less about how bad FATCA is than Canadians. If you can spend millions on an Keystone Pipeline advertising how about spending X millions to Stop FATCA with a media educational lobbying effort for ignorant Americans.
Why give in so easily to the Democrat Congressional FATCAnatics that created this Monster? You are philosophically opposed to them. Spend some money helping Americans defeat those in Congress that are most responsible for these extra territorial actions.
6. You could command your Ambassador in District of Criminals to call John Kerry and tell him if the FATCA extortion doesn’t immediately stop and the threat removed, you are pulling all troops and support for any U.S. Military mission.
7. You could have you UN ambassador bring up a resolution to the Security Council to condemn America’s practice of Citizenship Taxation in exactly the same manner as the one America signed in the resolution against Eritrea taxing its citizens living abroad. Come to think of it, you could treat America the same way you treat Eritrea. DIRECTLY CONDEMN their Citizenship Taxation.
8. You could command your Financial Institutions to begin their divestiture from U.S. assets and look elsewhere to place their money. You could set an example yourself with a public declaration that you will no longer own any U.S. assets.
9. You could threaten to stop your cooperation with the NSA spying apparatus in Canada and end your membership in the NSA 5 eyes of Spying. FATCA is just U.S spying now on Financial data, so end cooperation with the U.S. surveillance State.
10. You could call the U.S, Ambassador to Canada on the carpet and tell him his extortion method of conducting international affairs is unacceptable, It is NOT an “international norm”! If they don’t stop such abhorrent behavior and engage in multi-lateral mechanisms he can pack his bags and go home like you did with the Eritrean Ambassador
Oops, you don’t have one! I guess that shows how important you are to Amercia. If he hasn’t been confirmed and arrived yet, then block his arrival! Tell him to stay home! Just send more clerks to process the renunciations faster.
End of this List..
So there are 10 Options as a starter, and there are many others I am sure. Don’t give me this spin that you have ‘No choice’. There are plenty of choices for Ottawa, but they are JUST TOO TIMID and TOO AFRAID TO TAKE THEM. Apparently there is no stomach for a fight!
Robert Stack said America was willing to put its financial markets at risk, (transcript download here) so accept the challenge of showing him how risk translates into reality. Put your oil exports to the U.S. at risk then in response. Embargo them. (Not in the 10 list above) In this international hard ball game, a Bully will only back down when they meet a stonewall of resistance, not wimpy open gate of accommodation!
FATCA IGA is nothing more than a BAIL OUT of your Financial Institutions, while you SELL OUT your Citizens and residents with the usual propaganda about concessions and relief why this is in the best interest of Canada. I am still looking for ONE BEST INTEREST that isn’t just an elimination of an unjust sanction!
Oh the irony – watch this. The entertaining duo of Flaccid Liberal and Sanctimonious Conservative introduce the original No Option, No Choice meme in 1984:
Since John Turner lost the election maybe history will repeat itself (in reverse) and PM Harper will be voted out because “you, sir, had the option to say no, but you did not”
Well first he’d have to say ANYTHING about FATCA, wouldn’t he? Is there even yet one sound-bite of him uttering the acronym? I offer a prize of $50 to the first so-called journalist who can capture any evidence of the Prime Minister uttering the dreaded F-word. Or “IGA”. It will be even more elusive than “$90,000 cheque.”
Draw your own conclusions as to why we need an ‘Intergovernmental Agreement’ to legitimize USA to tax and penalize into bankruptcy those unfortunate Canadian citizens with a red, white and blue tattoo, who live and work in Canada, yet a couple years ago, Canada sent Eritrea packing for attempting to coerce a 2% tax on Eritrean immigrants living in Canada.
Should’a, Would’a, Could’a – but the sad fact is that NONE of the countries that have signed an IGA did any of these things. No country has just said ‘No’. Canadian’s only hope now (and in many ways all of our hopes) will rest on the strength of the Canadian courts. The politicians have failed (as they almost always do everywhere). All stops should be pulled out and every argument made by the best Canadian legal minds to stand up for the rights of Canadian citizens.
The cannons have barely cooled from Harper’s beloved War of 1812 celebrations, and he capitulates without firing a shot.
Maybe someone should photoshop a black armband onto Sir Isaac Brock’s sleeve. Think how he would be grieving today to see the country he fought and died for surrender to the USA 200 years later. My United Empire Loyalist ancestors would be grieving too.
@Just Me, you say “Put your oil exports to the U.S. at risk then in response. Embargo them.” I see no chance of that. On the contrary, the Harper government is desperate to get the US to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, and anything that Canada does to displease the US right now might contribute to them rejecting Keystone. I’m not saying that’s the only reason the Canadian government has caved in and signed the IGA, but I think it’s an important factor.
Yes, I know, as we have heard of the advertising in DC for the Keystone pipeline, and that is why I did not put it in the 10 list, but frankly, oil is an important lever over America, if CANADA got pissed enough and wanted to threaten.
I really don’t think they need the pipeline to bring the Canadian oil to market, but there are a lot of BIG VESTED interests that think they do, so practically speaking, the Conservative government would probably NEVER use the threat. However, to say you have no choices or levers to use, is just not true. But, they are too timid or too afraid. And frankly, they are NOT alone around the world, and there are a lot of copy cats. Everyone else is doing it, is standard politician thinking. Probably China and Russia are the only ones who take their sovereignty seriously enough not to just roll over and do what America wants.
By signing a FATCA IGA, Canada has officially entered the OVDP program for countries. What this means is that Canada will, at it’s expense, locate U.S. persons, turn them over to the IRS, and allow the IRS to impose penalties, transferring the wealth of Canada to the U.S. That’s the general principle of how OVDP works. Through an IGA, Canada has even agreed to calculate it’s own penalty.
You may recall in 2011, the U.S. Government, per IRS Commissioner Shulman was threatening Americans abroad saying:
“Now is your last, best chance to come into compliance. Those who join earlier will pay less …”
We know that this was NOT the case.
Viewed from the vantage point of OVDI, it’s clear that Canada has decided to join early in the hopes (I suppose of fewer penalties. But, regardless of motivation, by signing a FATCA IGA, Canada has agreed that:
1. To the extent that Canadian conflicts with U.S. law, U.S. will prevail.
2. Canada’s banks will be supervised by the IRS.
3. Because of the importance of banking, Canada has surrendered a good part of its sovereignty to the U.S. In fact, one might say that the IRS Commissioner will now be the real head of state in Canada, with the Parliament of Canada being permitted to legislation only to the extent that it doesn’t conflict with U.S. law.
What’s more interesting is which countries have NOT surrendered to U.S. bullying. Those countries that have not surrendered are still sovereign nations. None of the BRIC countries have signed/surrendered.
Some time ago, I wrote a post suggesting that “Peaceful Resistance to FATCA will result in a new financial order”.
We are witnessing this before our very eyes. Those nations who, on a governmental level, sign FATCA IGAs will over time, become irrelevant. Those who do NOT sign will become part of the new world financial order. As Todundsteur opined:
In another post “Anti-FATCA Bric Nations Building Political Clout and Alliance”:
I reported how:
It appears to me that, all China and the other BRIC nations need do is wait and watch other countries surrender to U.S. bullying.
Through FATCA, the U.S. is creating a new financial order and new political order with China in the drivers seat.
The Obama administration is the best friend China ever had.
Thanks for your comment, but I think you can take South Africa off the list, as they are one of the most proactive in both capitulating to FATCA, and going farther to participate in the global GATCA experiment underway called AEOI, or Automatic Exchange of Information..
On a protected FATCA Knowledge and Network Linkedin group, this comment was made to me from an FCC type working on their compliance….
To which she replied…
“the JBA has not received any information from member banks which suggest that Jamaican entities have been having problems using the portal. ”
Here is some of the problems they are having..
IRS Registration Portal error code 112 – Technical difficulties
A posting on Linkedin says…
Here Canada is an example of how to fight a battle…
Planet Money did a VERY good story last year, about how one little guy and a determined Nation (Brazil), took the U.S to the WTO and WON. They didn’t just rollover to U.S. might. (Just too bad the NPR guys can’t be bothered with FATCA yet! but I digress)
Episode 224: The Cotton Wars
Now, at The Globalist, is the REST of the story…As they say,
The US now wants to compel Brazil to accept what soccer calls a consolation match in the field of cotton. The cotton dispute between Brazil and the US is headed for a penalty shoot out. Brazil has the home advantage. The world’s developing economies are waiting with baited breath for the outcome. Read the role Snowden had in undermining a negotiation!
The U.S has now violated the 2010 bilateral accord by stopping payments to the Brazilians as a substitute for WTO sanction relief, and now Brazil is about to retaliate.
This is a fascinating “hardball” story, and the Canadians could well learn some lessons from this.
Read it here, and root for the Brazilians!
U.S.-Brazil: The Battle Over Cotton Subsidies
Can Brazil retaliate and still win the match?
Correction. I had the signatory dates wrong, it was February 5, 2014.
In any case, here is the amended version. Please delete the previous post.
Ah good one, except the infamous date in history is February 5, 2014. We went from the joy of victory (my husband’s relinquishment) to the agony of defeat (FATCA IGA signing) within 24 hours.
We were at crossed posts there. 🙂
We are much more than the 10% of the population. We are more than the PM (S. Harper) and all his committee think. We are Canada. They have betrayed us = Canada = and have broken all our laws, our constitution. They are accomplice of the US crimes. Noone that I know want them in the government. Enough of all that! we all Canadians want them out, and in jail. We want justice!
@Eagle forever says,
Class action lawsuit.
Here’s another thing the US government seems to be using as a lever to get the Canadian government to agree to the FATCA IGA. They are withholding payment of their share of the cost of the new border crossing between Windsor and Detroit:
I suppose they expect to recover the cost from the penalties and taxes they hope to extract from the “U.S. persons” who are living and banking in Canada. Apparently the Harper government wants to help them do that!
Good one, and I am sure more will surface when folks begin to really think about it. They need to toughen up like Brazil. That is a good story above if you haven’t yet read or heard it…
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