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Canadian Trade Surplus Falls

James Boston
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Canadian Trade Surplus Falls

Statistics Canada has just reported on the latest update to the country’s trade situation. The August version of the International Merchandise Trade figure has been announced as C$0.61Bn, this follows a July report of C$2.20Bn and an anticipated figure today of C$1.55Bn. Imports now stand at C$44.80Bn and Exports at C$44.19Bn, these were C$43.12Bn and C$43.12Bn respectively in the month of July.

Last week Canada moved a step closer to finalising a bilateral trade agreement with the European Union. This agreement has been long in the making and it was announced that all points have now been settled with just formal signing required. This however may not be as straight forward as all that. Before the agreement can be legally signed approval is required from the European Parliament, many of the German MEPs are opposing the agreement and pressure is growing on others from interest groups to do the same. The sticking point is a clause that gives international investors the right to sue national governments in the event that the feel they are being unfairly treated. This has been a common element in trade agreements to date, but because corporations, particularly in the tobacco and energy sectors, have begun to use it more, there is a growing movement of opposition forming from protest groups that feel it gives too much power to large corporations at the expense of democratically elected governments. The EU has recently re-engaged with the US to negotiate on this clause and it likely that by successfully blocking the Canadian treaty on this basis strength will be added to the EU’s hand when it comes to talks with the Americans.

Should the deal overcome this last hurdle then it is estimated that it holds the potential to increase bilateral EU-Canadian trade by around 23%, latest estimates put a value on this of approximately $20Bn per annum.

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