by Kyle Swenson
Hear that ominous and growing noise? The war drums are beating across Lake Erie. A trade dispute between two nations is getting nasty, and you can thank those NAFTA-bucking nativists down in Columbus for inciting a possible international conflict.
From the Columbus Dispatch comes this report: the Canadian consul has filed a complaint with Franklin County. They say two Canadian companies were excluded from a bidding process for county government work because they weren’t Red, White and Blue-born operations.
“Discriminatory actions taken in Ohio against Canadian companies risk provoking retaliation by Canadian jurisdictions,” consul Roy B. Norton wrote in a letter.
Retaliations? Exactly. That means the Canadians have their SAM batteries pointed at the states and the Royal Mounted Navy is cutting war exercises on the lake as we speak.
What type of trade could provoke such a strong reaction? What hot commodity could jack up the international discourse to this heightened pitch? Conference chairs.
The company in question, Keilhauser, was the low bidder for a contract to stock Franklin County’s new courthouse with conference chairs. The county commissioners, however, tossed out the round and rebid the projects — this time not inviting the Canadian company to participate. Another Canadian company from Ontario was also barred from the bid.
When pressed on the scandal, county commissioners first told the Dispatch the original round was scrapped because they’d decided to just reuse old furniture. However, a deputy commissioner tells the paper the Canadians were blocked because “the commissioners wanted to encourage local purchases.”
Also, further slapping down the ideals of globalization, Commissioner Paula Brooks tells the Dispatch she wants a “buy American” policy for the county.
"I will never apologize for fighting for jobs for our community or for using American tax dollars in America," Brooks said. "I think Americans are sick and tired of all our jobs going overseas, and someone needs to put their foot down."
Er . . . wait. It turns out, Keilhauser’s chairs are actually assembled at an American plant. In fact, the brand is used in the Situation Room, the one in the White House, not Wolf Blitzer’s. If their chairs are American enough for the asses’ of our country’s leaders, are they really not American enough for Columbus?
Now county officials are pulling the old, “Woah there, slow down, some of my best friends are Canadians” line. They’ve released a response letter claiming a number of features in the new courthouse have a Canadian source, like the benches.
Bottom line, the Canadians are pissed. What’s that mean for you, Clevelanders? When the Maple Leafs launch their ground offensive, where do you think they’re going to Normandy at? That’s right. Clear out the ol’ bomb shelter, buddy. We’re the possible first stop on the blitzkrieg to the capitol steps.