The Harper Doctrine

The day before state-owned CNOOC Ltd. received measured approval from the Canadian government to take over Nexen Inc., an official of the US Department of State was in Nanjing telling China why it should expect resistance while asset-shopping abroad. Canadian Premier Brian Harper is widely seen as having set an international precedent for international deals involving state-owned enterprises when, in announcing approval of the CNOOC-Nexen deal on Dec. 7, he outlined constraints to be applied to future such transactions in Canada. In Nanjing on Dec. 6, a speech by Robert D. Hormats, under-secretary of State for economic growth, energy, and the environment, explained why constraints are in ...

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