The NDP’s message today: Conservatives are mishandling trade

Little word from the Official Opposition on nationwide Idle No More protests

Mere hours after a thousands-strong Idle No More rally filled Parliament Hill, the NDP put out a press release. But it had nothing to do with Aboriginal affairs, and instead reminded the political world of the Conservative government’s record on trade.

The Conservative government’s failure to take action to improve our trade competitiveness has resulted in Canada’s merchandise trade deficit quadrupling – from $552 million to $2 billion in November alone.

The party quoted a new report released this morning that charted Canada’s running trade deficit.

According to a Statistics Canada report released today, in November 2012 Canada’s merchandise imports rose by 2.7 per cent and exports fell by 0.9 per cent. The result is Canada’s fourth-largest merchandise trade deficit on record.

Last night, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair was set to host a number of Aboriginal chiefs at his residence, Stornoway, but that meeting was cancelled when the chiefs spent the evening at an Assembly of First Nations meeting at Ottawa’s Delta Hotel. Earlier today, Mulcair’s spokesman, George Smith, defended the NDP’s visibility on the Aboriginal file over the last month.

UPDATE: The NDP’s Aboriginal affairs critic, MP Jean Crowder, released a statement saying “it’s time for the government to start listening” to Aboriginal concerns.




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The NDP’s message today: Conservatives are mishandling trade

  1. The NDP make a good point. The point of any international trade initiative is to increase exports; not increase the trade deficit. The fact is a country has to earn money by selling goods and services on the world market in order to afford imports.

    All the bankrupt US PIIGS (America, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) had whopping trade deficits (current account) before their debt crises hit. Harper is taking us down the same path of self-destruction by causing our trade deficit to soar ($50B deficit over the last 3 years; Harper inherited a $25B trade surplus in 2006.)

    • You do not understand, you’re mixing up trade deficits with budget deficits, very different,

      • I’m not the one mixing up trade (current account) deficit and budget deficit here.

        According to the “twin deficits” theory, a big trade deficit will cause a big budget deficit:

        Twin deficits hypothesis
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_deficits_hypothesis

        (BTW, economists tend to use the “current account” balance as a “broader measure of trade balance” — Paul Krugman.)

        So Harper is getting us into hot water by turning a $25B trade surplus to a $50B trade deficit. (He turned a $14B budget surplus into a $35B budget deficit.)

        Here are the current account balances from 2005 to 2011 (according to Statistics Canada):

        $26B, $20B, $12B, $2B, -$46B, -$60B, -$52B

        http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/econ01a-eng.htm

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