NDP raises alarm bells about trade deficit

Canada’s trade performance is on a disturbing trend under Conservatives

OTTAWACanada’s current account trade deficit has ballooned under the Conservatives and it continues to worsen. Stacked up against 18 of the most comparable trading nations, including the US and Australia, Canada is at the bottom of the list when it comes to trade performance. And the trend shows things are getting worse.

Of the 18 countries examined, eight had a current account surplus, five had deficits but were improving, and Canada had the worst record of the five remaining countries with deteriorating deficits.

“Canada’s poor trade performance is not simply the result of global economic woes,” said NDP International Trade Critic, Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway). “If it were, other comparable economies would have been similarly affected. Even the United States, our largest trading partner, has seen their current account trade deficit shrink considerably since 2006.”

In 2012, Canada had a current account deficit of $67 billion - an $85 billion drop from the $18 billion surplus in 2006, the first year the Conservatives were in power.

Davies noted that there is also a qualitative aspect to Canada’s trade deficit that is troubling.

“In addition to the growing current account deficit, the manufacturing deficit has nearly quadrupled since 2006 to just over $100 billion,” said Davies. “These are the types of issues that cannot be fixed by simply signing more trade agreements. Reversing these trends requires a systematic, targeted approach that supports our high-value exporting industries and the well-paying, family-sustaining jobs they produce.”

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