Our Trade Surplus Expands, but–

Statistics Canada reports an increase in our exports and this is a positive sign but it clearly shows our reliance on the US market. Exports excluding the US are down .

‘Exports to the United States rose 2.3% to $34.6 billion in January, led by higher exports of passenger cars and light trucks. Imports from the United States edged up 0.3% to $30.1 billion. As a result, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States widened from $3.8 billion in December to $4.5 billion in January. The Canadian dollar gained 0.8 cents US relative to the US dollar in January.

Exports to countries other than the United States fell 4.4% to $11.8 billion in January. Lower exports to Switzerland (-$298 million) and Spain (-$200 million)—both due to fewer aircraft exports—contributed to the decline.

Imports from countries other than the United States decreased 1.3% to $15.5 billion in January. Imports from Japan fell $273 million on lower imports of passenger cars and light trucks. As a result, Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States widened from $3.4 billion in December to $3.7 billion in January. Canada recorded a surplus with 4 of its 10 principal trading partners in January.’

Professor Jack Mintz in today’s National Post highlights the fact that unless we take action on our taxes given the US ‘s likely moves here we could be facing some real problems. Of course , we are not out of the woods on the NAFTA renegotiation either. Couple that with increasing risks in domestic banking as highlighted by the Bank of International settlements , there is much on which t be concerned.

I don’t like pouring cold water on what looks like  good news , but one must look beyond the headlines.

 

 

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