You have read , no doubt , my many criticisms of the Canadian economy : it’s poor productivity relative to our largest trading partner, our inability to adapt to new Technolgy effectively , and hence our overall competitive position is only average.
Of course, as our economy contracts our overall performance comes into sharper focus. The present federal government’s reluctance to engage decisively in our planned pipeline projects is a case in point . The Gateway , TransMountain , Energy East are all cluttered on process that delays timely startup and development. The Green lobby is largely dictating national,policy right now. You would not believe that our top number one export is oil in this context. Listening to the media these days, National Post/Financial Post excepted, you would not believe how important this export is to our economy.
What is also truly startling is how Mexico has not only surpassed us on vehicle exports but also on two areas where you would think over the last two decades we would be doing better , namely , electronic equipment and medical equipment. Mexico beats us here too. Here are some 2015 figures from International Monatary Fund World Economic Outlook Data Base:
In vechicles Mexico exported $ 90 billion worth.; we exported $60 billion worth.
And in electronics Mexico exported $81 billion worth, Canada just $13 billion worth. Seven times more!
In medical equipment Mexico exported $13 billion worth, Canada below $7 billion worth. Less than half.
Oil exports are only 6% of Mexico’s exports , in Canada it is 19%.
So we downplay advancing our top export , and in two areas in an advancing modern economy that one would think we would be doing well, Mexico beats us hands down .