Canada is a country open to foreign trade, which represents 65% of GDP (World Bank, 2019).
In terms of products, Canada’s main exports are petroleum products, automobiles and other motor vehicles, gold, oil, and other hydrocarbons. The country mainly imports vehicles, auto parts or accessories, petroleum products, electrical and electronic equipment.
Due to the disruptions in international trade generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the IMF estimates that Canada’s exports fell by 13% in 2020, with a stronger fall in imports (-15.1). As the situation is expected to normalize during 2021, exports and imports are expected to rebound 5.9% and 9.7% respectively (IMF).
The top destinations for Canada’s exports in 2019 were the United States (by far the leading partner with 75.4% of total exports), China (3.9%), the United Kingdom (3.3%) and Japan (2.1%). Similarly, more than half of Canada’s imports originate from the United States (50.7%), followed by China (12.5%), Mexico (6.1%), Germany (3.2%) and Japan (2.7%).
Canada’s trade was weak in 2019 compared to the average trend between 2010 and 2019. According to WTO data, exports of goods from Canada amounted to $ 446.8 billion in 2019, down 0.9% from a year ago. previous. Imports also fell, to USD 463.6 billion (-1.4%). With respect to commercial services, Canada is also a net importer: imports were $ 114 billion, compared to $ 99 billion in exports. The trade deficit widened in the last half of the decade, which can be attributed to the fact that exports of goods lagged behind imports of goods, in part due to the low prices of hydrocarbons and trade tensions with their main trading partner, the United States. Currently, the Comprehensive Agreement on Economy and Trade or Global Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA, or CETA in English) between Canada and the EU entered into force provisionally (it will be fully active when the EU member states ratify it), eliminating 98% of the rates. On the other hand, the CUSMA, Treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada (also called T-MEC, or USMCA in English, and which corresponds to an updated version of NAFTA) entered into force in July 2020, and is expected to reinforce trade between participating countries.