Freer cross-Canada trade will most benefit Atlantic provinces

A number of restrictions inhibit labour mobility, as well as the free trade of goods and services. And trade barriers add regulatory burdens on businesses

Freer cross-Canada trade will most benefit Atlantic provincesBy Ben Eisen and Alex Whalen The Fraser Institute When many people think about threats to free and open trade to Canada, they immediately consider the protectionist outlook of departing U.S. President Donald Trump. In 2020, another obstacle to the free movement of products and people across boundaries has been the COVID-19 pandemic. However, even…

Why Ontarians should care about Alberta oil and gas

Alberta’s consumers, businesses and governments were responsible for $31.4 billion of Ontario’s total interprovincial trade in 2016 alone

Why Ontarians should care about Alberta oil and gasBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre “All politics is local,” as 1980s-era U.S. House of Representatives leader Tip O’Neill put it. O’Neill’s point was straightforward: Voters care about what affects them. That, naturally, is where politicians then aim their promises and rhetoric. What’s true in politics is also true of the economy:…

Creation of a common market first step to economic recovery

If the European Union with 27 very diverse countries and several languages can do it, why can't Canada?

Creation of a common market first step to economic recoveryCOVID-19 is still running rampant in many countries, is accelerating in Quebec and Ontario and has recently hospitalized the president of the United States. But in British Columbia, we’re hoping we can avoid a second wave this winter. We’re starting to turn our attention from immediate medical issues to the longer term challenge that the…

COVID crisis opportunity for trade reform in Atlantic Canada

Eliminating trade barriers can help accelerate the economic recovery

COVID crisis opportunity for trade reform in Atlantic CanadaBy Alex Whalen and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute Earlier this summer, the four Atlantic provinces formed the “Atlantic Bubble” as the region works toward freer movement of people amid the COVID crisis. And clearly, the pandemic’s effect on the economy underscores the value of free movement of people and goods, which – on the…

Canada’s future brighter with broader trade

We are too dependent on two of our top three customers: the U.S. and China. And both of these are increasingly hostile

Canada’s future brighter with broader tradeCanada relies on exports. In any given year, about 45 per cent of our economy is in foreign trade. For much of the past, our exports have been mainly in the agriculture and resources sectors. These are still important, but services (think international education), manufactured goods (e.g. Lululemon clothing) and technology (e.g. the Canadarm robotic…

Breaking down provincial trade barriers an agonizing ordeal

Breaking down provincial trade barriers an agonizing ordealDespite a struggling economy, Calgary’s restaurant scene is more robust than ever, with new and exciting venues opening regularly. Last week, I attended the media preview of another great restaurant in the downtown area – NUPO, in the Hotel Arts, smack dab in Calgary’s up-and-coming East Village district. NUPO features a predominantly vegetarian menu with…

Canadian capital markets thrive without national regulator

Centralization undermines bottom-up co-ordination already underway between the provinces and territories

Canadian capital markets thrive without national regulatorAdvocates for centralized financial regulation have met their match in Canada. The nation is proof that competition between intranational jurisdictions can foster diverse, prosperous capital markets. In the research paper, The Federal Takeover of Canada’s Capital Markets, we argue the decades-long push for a national securities regulator is a solution in search of a problem.…

Internal trade barriers cripple Canada

The good news is the Constitution guarantees free trade among provinces. But do federal officials have the political will?

Internal trade barriers cripple CanadaIf there’s one near unanimous consensus among economists, it’s that free trade increases productivity and boosts growth. The flip side is that tariffs, quotas and other trade barriers generally reduce welfare. A recent study by the International Monetary Fund suggests Canada – on account of trade impediments between the provinces – is forgoing a four…

Tear down Canada’s interprovincial trade walls

The annual national price tag for maintaining internal barriers may top $130 billion

Tear down Canada’s interprovincial trade wallsInterprovincial free trade, the lowest hanging fruit on the tree of Canadian economic policy, never fails to raise the federal government’s thirst for marvellously empty rhetoric, especially during the toastmaster circuit of every election cycle. So it was earlier this year when New Brunswick’s very own Dominic LeBlanc – minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs…

Barriers to competition hurt Canadians

Government-erected barriers mean firms have few incentives to improve efficiency, cut costs and satisfy consumers

Barriers to competition hurt CanadiansEconomists love competition. They tell students how competition between firms leads to lower prices and greater quality. Beyond the classroom, few dispute the benefits of competition. So why are so many Canadians unaware that governments across Canada shield close to one-third of the economy from competition? When economists speak of competition, they don’t refer only…

Interprovincial trade barriers are a national embarrassment

Studies suggest these constraints cost the Canadian economy up to $130 billion a year. But we can change that

Interprovincial trade barriers are a national embarrassmentBy Sen. Jane Cordy and Sen. Diane Bellemare Canada’s framework for interprovincial trade is patchy at best. While Canada has signed on to free trade agreements with countries around the world, there are significant barriers to the free flow of goods and services within our own borders. Studies have suggested that these interprovincial trade constraints…

Premiers the barrier to free trade within Canada

Our premiers regularly meet to discuss liberalizing trade. Year after year, decade after decade, nothing concrete is ever accomplished

Premiers the barrier to free trade within CanadaBy Marco Navarro-Genie and Alex Whalen Atlantic Institute for Market Studies Opinions vary as to whether the meeting of Canada's premiers in mid-July in St. Andrews, N.B., was a success. The expectations for those hoping for freer trade within Canada were high. But if the expectations were high, they were largely created by some of…

Will Trump’s protectionism be the making of Canada?

By blowing up NAFTA, Trump would be forcing Canada to take control of its future once again and commit to building common bonds to preserve our nation's integrity

Will Trump’s protectionism be the making of Canada?It’s ironic that U.S. President Donald Trump's madcap protectionism might do more for Canadian unity than our timid political leaders have accomplished in decades. Ever since the first Canada-United States trade deal in 1988, which started the process of continental economic integration, we Canadians have slowly been distancing ourselves from one another. Worse, we haven’t…

Comeau ruling defies economic – and common – sense

A Supreme Court ruling that there’s no ‘constitutional guarantee of free trade’ will stifle both competition and lower prices for consumers

Comeau ruling defies economic – and common – senseThe Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that provinces have the right to erect interprovincial tariff barriers. That’s bad news for Canadian consumers and the health of the national economy. It is, however, a relief for provinces that for years have allowed fiscal priorities to supersede consumer choice and common economic sense. In 2012, Gerard…

Shove EDC off taxpayers’ shoulders and into the private sector

Canada's export credit agency is good at what it does. But part of that is taking risks with taxpayers’ money. It's time for that to end

Shove EDC off taxpayers’ shoulders and into the private sectorExport Development Canada (EDC) has a big problem – the kind of problem Crown corporations have no business courting. Canada’s export credit agency, EDC loaned Turquoise Hill Resources, a mining company, $1 billion. Unfortunately, Turquoise Hill allegedly transferred a considerable amount of money offshore to minimize the taxes it pays in Canada. EDC’s mission is…

Trade wars, food fights and a budget that ignores it all

Duties may look like attractive, simple mechanisms to protect domestic interests. But they’re a very expensive way to retain jobs

Trade wars, food fights and a budget that ignores it allThe ugly face of protectionism is slowly making its way across the globe. With trade wars looming on several fronts, including in the agri-food sector, Canada's federal government seems resolved to lose. Bill Morneau is obviously an influential figure in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet, but he’s no finance minister – despite his title. Given…