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5 Depressing Facts about Canada’s Exports

Posted May 13, 2015

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Macleans – Jason Kirby)

It’s no secret Canada’s export picture has been grim for some time now. Earlier this month when trade statistics were released for the month of March, they showed Canada suffered from a $3-billion trade deficit – the gap between the value of the stuff we sell to the world, and what we buy. It was the widest deficit in Canadian history, and while it was overwhelmingly due to low oil prices, it reinforced the ongoing challenges Canada faces when it comes to selling its goods abroad.

The mounting trade deficit aside, it’s in the nitty gritty of what we sell to the world, where it goes – and where it doesn’t – that Canada’s export shortfall is most glaring. Drawing on data from Industry Canada’s trade online trade statistics, here are five sad facts that show we have a lot of work to do.

1. Canada exports more furry animals than automobiles to China.
In 2014 Canada recorded $160.7 million in exports of “fur-bearing animal and rabbit production” to China, one of the fastest growing countries in the world, compared to $158.5 million worth in “automobile and light-duty motor vehicle manufacturing.” We’re not knocking rabbit farmers, but one industry employs 117,000 people, the other, not so much.

Click here to read the other four "depressing facts" uncovered by Macleans.