Canada’s exporters may be figuring it out: the future is in Asia.
Policy makers have been trying to nudge Canadian executives to the Pacific for years. Mark Carney, the former Bank of Canada governor, used a speech in 2012 to counter the excuse that Canadian companies were uncompetitive; Carney presented evidence that showed exporters struggled after the crisis because they were overexposed to slow-growth markets such as the United States and Europe. (More than a dozen Asian countries grew at least 5% that year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The U.S. economy expanded 2.2% and that of Europe effectively stalled.) Former prime minister Stephen Harper signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free-trade agreement that would bind 12 Pacific Rim nations. The new government of Justin Trudeau hasn’t yet said whether it will stay in the TPP, but it would be a shock if it reneged. Asia is on the mind of Canada’s leader. The only two nations mentioned by name in Trudeau’s mandate letter to Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland are China and India. He referred to them twice. (Neither China nor India are members of the TPP.)
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