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  • Community Economic Development in Manitoba - a new film January 16, 2018
    Cinameteque, Jan 23.  7:00 pm - Free event Film Trailer CCEDNET-MB, CCPA-MB, The Manitoba Research Alliance and Rebel Sky Media presents: The Inclusive Economy:  Stories of Community Economic Development in Manitoba
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Winnipeg's State of the Inner City 2018 January 3, 2018
    Winnipeg's community-based organizations are standing on shakey ground and confused about how to proceed with current provincial governement measurements.  Read the 2018 State of the Inner City Report.
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Our Schools/Our Selves: Winter 2018 is online now! December 18, 2017
    For the first time, this winter we are making Our Schools/Our Selves available in its entirety online. This issue of Our Schools/Our Selves focuses on a number of key issues that education workers, parents, students, and public education advocates are confronting in schools and communities, and offers on-the-ground commentary and analysis of what needs to […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Charting a path to $15/hour for all BC workers November 22, 2017
    In our submission to the BC Fair Wages Commission, the CCPA-BC highlighted the urgency for British Columbia to adopt a $15 minimum wage by March 2019. Read the submission. BC’s current minimum wage is a poverty-level wage. Low-wage workers need a significant boost to their income and they have been waiting a long time. Over 400,000 […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA-BC joins community, First Nation, environmental groups in call for public inquiry into fracking November 5, 2017
    Today the CCPA's BC Office joined with 16 other community, First Nation and environmental organizations to call for a full public inquiry into fracking in Britsh Columbia. The call on the new BC government is to broaden a promise first made by the NDP during the lead-up to the spring provincial election, and comes on […]
    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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