Over the past two years. The Fraser Institute has surveyed
Canadian companies about the incidence of non-tariff and
non-quota trade barriers that companies operating in Canada face
when exporting goods and services to the United States. For this
study, we classified informal trade barriers under three
- discriminatory regulations and policies on health, product
packaging, and environmental conservation.
- cumbersome customs clearance and inspection procedures;
- policies on domestic content requirements, particularly
"buy national" policies.
A series of spats over the last year between Canada and the
United States combined with ugly comments about the United States
from high-profile Canadians raised questions about whether these
developments would have a negative impact on Canada's access to
the US market.
"Yes," is the overwhelming response of those on the front lines
of Canada's trade with the United States. More than nine of 10 of
the Canadian exporters who responded to the survey said relations
between Canada and the United States have deteriorated over the
last year and two-thirds of those respondents said it had damaged
their ability to export to the United States.
This could develop into a serious economic problem for Canada. A
third of everything produced in Canada is exported to the United
States. Canada's US trade surplus alone is equal to almost 10% of
Canada's economy. In this age of just-in-time delivery and
integrated plants on both sides of the border, it would only take
a change in border regulations to throw tens of thousands of
Canadians out of work.
Many believe Canada-US relations have improved in recent months
but this survey shows how quickly relations can deteriorate and
how that can have a negative effect on Canadian trade, at least
in the eyes of those actually exporting into the United