Canada Trade Deficit Improves
Canada’s Trade Deficit narrowed in the month of May according to information just release by the country’s statistics office. The monthly International Merchandise Trade number has been reported as -C$0.15Bn compared to the –C$0.96Bn experienced in April.
Exports for the month rose to C$44.17Bn from C$42.83Bn the previous month, this was in excess of the market anticipated C$43.40Bn figure. Imports also rose, the reported number for May is C$44.32Bn compared to C$43.62Bn in April, expectations were for a slight fall to C$43.70Bn.
Canada has traditionally had a patchy record when it comes to reaching trade agreements with it’s international trading partners. Although the Canada Europe Trade Agreement (CETA), which has yet to be legislated for, has largely been deemed a success from the point of view of Canada, there is difficulty in seeing how it could make such a claim with it’s over it’s other trade negotiations.
Canada arrived at a financial investment protection agreement (FIPA) with China over two years ago, this however is still gathering dust on the shelves of Parliament in Ottawa and there is still no clear timetable as to when authorities will move to implement it into legislation.
There is also widespread belief that the current round of negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Pact (TPP) are not going Canada’s way. Next week will see delegations from 11 separate Asia Pacific countries arrive in Ottawa for the next round of talks aimed at reaching a trade agreement between the region and Canada. Government officials in Canada are refusing to comment on the talks or the pending agreement and as such speculation is mounting that there may be some significant impediments toward Canadian terms. This puts the Canadian Government in a difficult place as it enters an election year, there is no appetite to announce trade concessions nor is there any appetite to announce a collapse of trade talks, it is beginning to appear that the only way forward is to drag the talks out until after the election.
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