January 11th, 2013

Conservative government failing on trade

Record $5.3 billion deficit threatens Canadian economy

The Conservative government’s failure to take action to improve our trade competitiveness has resulted in Canada’s merchandise trade deficit quadrupling – from $552 million to $2 billion in November alone.

Even worse, Canada’s merchandise trade deficit with countries other than the United States widened to an all-time high of $5.3 billion – with a 13% decrease in exports.

“Since the Harper Conservatives came to power, all we’ve seen is a mishmash of hasty agreements and a consistently worsening trade imbalance,” said NDP International Trade critic Don Davies (Vancouver – Kingsway). “The Conservatives like to use a lot of rhetoric on trade but the numbers don’t lie: they are failing spectacularly.”

According to a Statistics Canada report released today, in November 2012 Canada’s merchandise imports rose by 2.7 per cent and exports fell by 0.9 per cent. The result is Canada’s fourth-largest merchandise trade deficit on record.

“These recent numbers are the continuation of a worrisome trend that is unsustainable and bad news for the economy,” said NDP Deputy Finance critic Guy Caron (Rimouski-Neigette-Témiscouata-Les Basques). “The Conservatives must start working with Canadian exporters to grow their businesses, grow jobs and reverse these damaging trade deficits.”