Canadian exports dip this year over last . . .
From January to September of this year, Canada exported a total of C$19B worth of goods to countries that are part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a three per cent decline compared to the same period in 2018. That was one of the key findings of The CPTPP Tracker, the first in a series of reports by APF Canada assessing the performance of the most important trade agreement signed thus far among economies in the Pacific region. The Agreement entered into force nearly one year ago, on December 30, 2018. The first CPTPP Tracker report dissects the last 33 months of statistical information to determine whether Canadian exports to the 10 other CPTPP members are increasing or decreasing, with an eye to identifying opportunities, challenges, and main trends.
Declining and growing sectors . . .
The Tracker found that the three sectors with the steepest declines are base metals, wood and wood products, and transportation equipment. The first two sectors represent most of the $538-million decline that occurred in the first nine months of 2019. However, Canadian exports grew in 12 sectors. The fastest-growing export sectors for Canada within the CPTPP are, in order, live animals and animal products, machinery, and minerals. Meanwhile, in the first nine months of 2019, Canada’s imports from CPTPP countries increased by C$2.6B, or 4.9 per cent, compared to the same period in 2018.
Wider global impacts . . .
Canadian trade in the Pacific region must be analyzed within the context of the unrelenting trade war between China and the United States. Trade deceleration is affecting all CPTPP members in one way or another, and Canada has been particularly affected by the relocation of value chains across the Pacific that were previously located in China, disrupting pre-existing Canadian engagement in Asia. As a whole, the CPTPP area is now the second largest destination for Canadian exports after the U.S. and there are plenty of opportunities to advance Canadian interests, especially in smaller economies that registered the fastest growing demand for Canadian products like Singapore, Malaysia, and New Zealand. The opportunity is there, if we have the will to seize it.