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  • CCPA's National Office has moved! May 11, 2018
      The week of May 1st, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' National Office moved to 141 Laurier Ave W, Suite 1000, Ottawa ON, K1P 5J2. Please note that our phone, fax and general e-mail will remain the same: Telephone: 613-563-1341 | Fax: 613-233-1458 | Email: ccpa@policyalternatives.ca  
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • What are Canada’s energy options in a carbon-constrained world? May 1, 2018
    Canada faces some very difficult choices in maintaining energy security while meeting emissions reduction targets.  A new study by veteran earth scientist David Hughes—published through the Corporate Mapping Project, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Parkland Institute—is a comprehensive assessment of Canada’s energy systems in light of the need to maintain energy security and […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • The 2018 Living Wage for Metro Vancouver April 25, 2018
    The cost of raising a family in British Columbia increased slightly from 2017 to 2018. A $20.91 hourly wage is needed to cover the costs of raising a family in Metro Vancouver, up from $20.61 per hour in 2017 due to soaring housing costs. This is the hourly wage that two working parents with two young children […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Mobility pricing must be fair and equitable for all April 12, 2018
    As Metro Vancouver’s population has grown, so have its traffic congestion problems. Whether it’s a long wait to cross a bridge or get on a bus, everyone can relate to the additional time and stress caused by a transportation system under strain. Mobility pricing is seen as a solution to Metro Vancouver’s transportation challenges with […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Budget 2018: The Most Disappointing Budget Ever March 14, 2018
    Premier Pallister’s Trump-esque statement that budget 2018 was going to be the “best budget ever” has fallen a bit flat. Instead of a bold plan to deal with climate change, poverty and our crumbling infrastructure, we are presented with two alarmist scenarios to justify further tax cuts and a lack of decisive action: the recent […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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Did the US Take a Bite Out of Canada-Korea Trade?

On last night’s The National, Terry Milewski introduced the Canada-Korea trade deal as follows:

The truth is that Canada is a latecomer to free trade with South Korea. The European Union and the United States both got there first, and their free trade deals took a big bite out of Canada’s exports. So, the government really had to catch up.

It is true that trade deals with South Korea came into force in mid-2011 for the EU and in early 2012 for the US, but how did they affect Canadian exports?

In US dollars, Canada’s international exports edged up from $451.6 billion in 2011 to $458.1 billion in 2013. Within those totals, exports to South Korea fell from $5.1 billion to $3.3 billion – a big bite out of this small trade flow, but a nibble of less than half of one percent of Canada’s worldwide exports.

And 2011 is hardly a representative base of comparison. In no other year has Canada ever sold more than $3.7 billion of merchandise to South Korea. Last year’s $3.3 billion was pretty typical of our annual exports to South Korea since 2006.

Furthermore, US exports to South Korea also declined from $43.4 billion in 2011 to $41.6 billion in 2013. It is not as if the US is grabbing Korean market share at Canada’s expense. At most, advocates of the free-trade deal could argue that sales to South Korea decreased at a slower pace from the US than from Canada.

The Canada-Korea deal is touted as a boon to Canadian agriculture. But US agricultural sales to South Korea fell from $5.1 billion in 2011 to $3.2 billion in 2013. Interestingly, American agricultural exports to South Korea under a free-trade deal almost perfectly mirrored total Canadian exports to South Korea without a deal. Given the overall decline of North American sales to South Korea in the past couple of years, we cannot blame the Korea-US deal for the drop in Canadian exports.

As I argued on Monday’s Power & Politics, the Canada-Korea deal threatens to deepen our trade deficit by facilitating more imports from South Korea while depriving Canada of the industrial-policy tools that South Korea used to develop its manufacturing sector. The technical summary posted yesterday confirms that the deal will expose Canada to more investor-state disputes, as my union had warned.

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