Canada’s Next Trade Era: Which Industries Are Prepared to Take On U.S. Demand?

The Conference Board of Canada, 76 pages, February 11, 2016
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This report identifies which of 38 Canadian industries are poised for success in the new trade era that is characterized by lower commodity prices, a lower-valued Canadian dollar, and a rebound in U.S. demand.

Document Highlights

The commodity supercycle is over and demand from the U.S. is strengthening. This global environment represents a big change for Canadian exporters. Can they simply re-orient themselves to take advantage of U.S. demand? Canada’s Next Trade Era uses a benchmarking methodology to identify which out of 38 Canadian industries are likely to see strong demand in this next trade era and which industries have the capacity to increase production. Using measures of competitiveness to identify the industries that are most likely to succeed, the research finds that 11 industries (mostly services and resources) are well-prepared, while 9 manufacturing industries will face capacity constraints.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—Introducing the New Trade Era and Analytical Approach

  • A Blast From the Past?
  • The Next Trade Era
  • Most Canadian Industries Exposed to Changes in Exchange Rates
  • Identifying Which Industries Will Benefit From the Next Trade Era

Chapter 2—The Resurgence of U.S. Demand: Which Canadian Industries Can Benefit?

  • Which Industries Will See a Boost in Demand?
  • What Is the Capacity of Canada’s Industries to Take On Increases in Production?
  • How Competitive Are Canadian Industries in U.S. Markets?

Chapter 3—Preparing for Success: The Intersection of Demand, Capacity, and Competitiveness

  • Bringing the Analysis Together: Which Industries Are Best and Least Prepared to Take On Expected Demand?
  • Quadrant I: Industries Best Prepared for the Next Trade Era
  • Quadrant II: Industries in Need of More Capacity to Prosper—Manufacturing
  • A Third Dimension of Success: Competitiveness
  • Are Canada’s Largest Exports Prepared to Take on the Next Era?
  • Opportunities in the Rest of the World Abound in Next Export Era

Chapter 4—Conclusion

  • Tectonic Shift Is Under Way: Governments Should Focus on Labour and Transportation Networks
  • What Can Businesses Do to Succeed in the Next Export Era?
  • Industries With Strong Demand and Strong Capacity in a Good Position
  • Industries With Strong Demand and Weak Capacity Face Challenges
  • A Brave New Era

Appendix A—Methodology

  • Benchmarking Calculations
  • Industry NAICS Codes
  • U.S. Demand Drivers

Appendix B—Bibliography

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