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Canadian Economic Trends Service

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The NAFTA Disconnect: Actual Costs and Benefits Versus Popular Perceptions

There are many ways to evaluate trade agreements. Perhaps the best place to start is by evaluating how well an agreement achieved its stated goals. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) appears to have accomplished its primary objectives, since trade and investment have significantly increased among the three NAFTA countries. As NAFTA renegotiations get underway among the three partner countries, understanding the U.S.-Mexico relationship in particular is going to be critical for Canadians. In this special webinar, get a perspective on NAFTA from the other border involved in the renegotiation. Dr. Raymond Robertson of Texas A&M University describes how NAFTA has shaped the U.S.-Mexico economic relationship and how both countries have benefitted from the changes brought on by the agreement. Although U.S. imports from Mexico increased more than U.S. exports to Mexico, the facts do not support the claim that Mexico has benefitted more from NAFTA than the United States. Recent evidence suggests that earnings in the two countries have grown at about the same rate since NAFTA, and the gap between Mexican and U.S. incomes have not closed. Furthermore, Mexican and U.S. workers are complements and not competitors for jobs. When employment expands in the United States, it also expands in Mexico, and vice-versa. Moreover, much of the value of the U.S. imports from Mexico includes parts produced in the United States that are exported to Mexico for assembly and then re-exported to the United States.

Recorded Webinar | October 2017 | The Conference Board of Canada

Climate-Friendly Goods and Services: Opportunity Knocks for Canadian Companies

The world is moving toward a lower-carbon economy. Canadian innovators, investors, and manufacturers have opportunities to help businesses around the world decrease their carbon footprint and lessen adverse environmental impacts.In recent years, investments in renewable energy alone topped $286 billion in 2015 and global trade in climate-friendly technologies totals more than $250 billion each year. Canada is lagging many other countries in exporting climate-friendly technologies, but we do have a competitive edge in key sectors. In this webinar based on Global Commerce Centre research, Jacqueline Palladini identifies and elaborates on the 17 global export strengths in climate-friendly products and related services. These include:Renewable energy: photovoltaic system controllers, towers and clutches for wind turbines, photosensitive semiconductors, biomass gasification tanks, and solar collectors.Energy efficiency: heating and cooling technologies, and gas turbines (excluding turbo jets)Waste management technologies: large waste containers, wastewater filters, liners, and membranes used by oil refineries, landfills, and gas stationsCanada is also among the world leaders in carbon capture and storage technologies, which represent another important market opportunity for Canadian businesses.This webinar is based on the Global Commerce Centre report, Clean Trade: Canada’s Global Opportunities in Climate-Friendly Technologies

Recorded Webinar | September 2017 | The Conference Board of Canada

Canadian Outlook Bulletin: Autumn 2017

This briefing provides highlights of our quarterly Canadian Outlook Economic Forecast report, which presents the short-term national outlook.

Website | September 2017 | Matthew Stewart | The Conference Board of Canada

Canadian Outlook with the Chief Economist: Keeping the Momentum Going

The Canadian economy got off to a great start in the first half of 2017, and real gross domestic product is expected to grow by more than 2.5 per cent this year. But economic growth will slow in the second half of the year and into 2018. Strong household consumption is the main driver of this year’s growth, and the July 2017 interest rate hike is welcome news because the Canadian economy no longer requires rock-bottom rates to reduce the negative fallout from lower commodity prices. While improved global growth should allow for a modest improvement in Canadian exports next year, the outlook for trade is clouded by the risks of increased protectionism, including the NAFTA renegotiations. Get The Conference Board of Canada’s latest global, national and provincial economic outlooks from Craig Alexander, in this insightful and engaging presentation that is a must-attend for both economic analysts and organizational decision-makers.

Recorded Webinar | September 2017 | Craig Alexander | The Conference Board of Canada

The Cost of a Cleaner Future: Examining the Economics of Pricing Carbon and Making Deep GHG Emission Reductions

This webinar will be presented by Alicia Macdonald and Douglas Ruth.Governments across Canada have committed to moving towards a low carbon future. Despite the recent decision by the United States to withdraw from the Paris Accord, Canada remains keen to significantly reduce its GHG emissions. Achieving deep emission reductions will require a multifaceted approach and the Canadian plan includes pricing carbon and eliminating coal-fired electricity. To get a sense of the economic impact of these types of policies, The Conference Board of Canada, building on research from the Canadian Academy of Engineering, analyzed the economic impact of taxing carbon and moving away from fossil fuels for electricity generation. In the analysis, the economic impacts of a carbon tax starting at $10 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent is discussed as well as the impact of shifting our electricity generation mix.While pricing carbon and shifting the electricity generation mix towards renewables are important components of the emission reductions strategy, a broader approach is necessary to achieve our targets. The Trottier Energy Futures Project (TEFP) examined several possible pathways for Canada to make deep emission reductions. The work done in the TEFP has shown us that it is indeed technically feasible to transition Canada to a low carbon society but doing so will require significant spending commitments. In our study, we aggregated the investment spending required under some of the TEFP scenarios and assessed the economic impact of that investment.Join Alicia Macdonald and Douglas Ruth for a detailed description of the methodology and a presentation of the results of this analysis.

Recorded Webinar | September 2017 | The Conference Board of Canada

An American Perspective on NAFTA’s Past, Present, and Future

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has become a pillar of the Canadian, American and Mexican economies and stands as one of the broadest, deepest free-trade agreements in human history. As the three countries enter a renegotiation of NAFTA, join dual Canadian-American citizen Raj Bhala for the historical context, current realities, and future possibilities for this crucial continent-wide agreement.Raj will describe the origins of NAFTA and its effects on all three countries, including concerns about “overselling” its benefits. He will cover sensitive sectors in agriculture (including wheat, wine, sugar, dairy and poultry) and industry (such as aircraft, steel, and automobiles).Raj will also discuss the eight-year NAFTA renegotiation that already took place—the Trans Pacific Partnership—and the potential starting points it offers for the issues of intellectual property, e-commerce, state-owned enterprises, labour rights, women’s rights, and environment and climate change.Raj will even address strategic questions that could be considered heretical to ask. Don’t miss this opportunity to get an American perspective on NAFTA from a Canadian-born expert.

Recorded Webinar | August 2017 | The Conference Board of Canada

Canadian Outlook Economic Forecast: Summer 2017

This quarterly economic forecast provides highlights of the Canadian Outlook report, which presents the short-term national outlook.

Report | 185 pages | August 2017 | The Conference Board of Canada

Résumé de la note de conjoncture canadienne : Été 2017

Ce résumé trimestriel reproduit, dans ses grandes lignes, la Note de conjoncture canadienne qui donne les perspectives économiques à court terme pour l’ensemble du Canada.

Résumé | 34 pages | August 2017 | Le Conference Board du Canada

Canadian Outlook Executive Summary: Summer 2017

This quarterly economic forecast provides highlights of the Canadian Outlook report, which presents the short-term national outlook.

Report | 29 pages | July 2017 | The Conference Board of Canada

Income Inequality in Canada: The Geography of Intergenerational Income Mobility Across Canada

Income inequality is one of the defining public policy challenges of the 21st century in Canada and around the world. A key aspect of the inequality debate is intergenerational income mobility—whether one generation of people is positioned to achieve a higher standard of living than their parents’ generation. Intergenerational income mobility varies significantly across the country, which means that Canadians do not have equal opportunity to advance to a higher standard of living than that of their parents.

Recorded Webinar | July 2017 | The Conference Board of Canada

NAFTA 2.0 and Canada

There is virtually no segment of the Canadian economy that is not influenced by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). But the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. Presidency marks the most serious threat to the future of NAFTA since the pact was signed in 1994. Canada will soon be entering a renegotiation of its most crucial trade agreement and the stakes are extremely high. Canada will need a well-developed strategy during this negotiation to maintain the benefits that it has enjoyed under NAFTA and to update the agreement so that it reflects current business realities. Join the Conference Board’s trade experts to receive an evidence-based understanding of the specific trade issues that are likely to come up in negotiations and recommended negotiating positions for Canada to take. The Conference Board of Canada’s Global Commerce Centre has conducted leading-edge research on Canada’s international trade and investment for more than a decade. Based on the Global Commerce Centre’s expertise and research capacity, this webinar will provide governments, businesses, labour unions and civil society organizations with the information they need to stay informed about the future shape of NAFTA.

Recorded Webinar | June 2017 | Kristelle Audet, Brent Dowdall | The Conference Board of Canada

Canadian Outlook Economic Forecast: Spring 2017

This quarterly economic forecast provides highlights of the Canadian Outlook report, which presents the short-term national outlook.

Report | 178 pages | May 2017 | The Conference Board of Canada

Résumé de la note de conjoncture canadienne : Printemps 2017

Ce résumé trimestriel reproduit, dans ses grandes lignes, la Note de conjoncture canadienne qui donne les perspectives économiques à court terme pour l’ensemble du Canada.

Résumé | 28 pages | May 2017 | Le Conference Board du Canada

Canadian Outlook Executive Summary: Spring 2017

This quarterly economic forecast provides highlights of the Canadian Outlook report, which presents the short-term national outlook.

Executive Summary | 25 pages | May 2017 | The Conference Board of Canada

Rolling Along: The State of Marijuana Legalization in Canada and the United States

The Canadian government has unveiled its draft legislation to legalize marijuana. The proposed Cannabis Act would allow Canadians 18 and over to legally possess up to 30 grams and grow up to four plants in their homes. The legislation also provides for criminal penalties for selling cannabis to children and youth, and would increase enforcement and penalties for driving while drug-impaired. The proposed date for legalization is July 1, 2018. But much remains to be determined over the next 15 months, including: the legislative hurdles that the Cannabis Act will face, the roles of the provinces and territories in regulating and controlling access to the product, and the reaction of the United States to its northern neighbour legalizing marijuana. Meanwhile, four states voted to legalize recreational use in the 2016 elections, bringing the number of states that permit recreational marijuana to 8, plus the District of Columbia. However, the new Trump Administration has signalled that it is considering a crackdown on at least the recreational use of marijuana—which would put it at odds with the growing legalization movement. Professor Sam Kamin of the University of Denver, one of America's expert voices on the subject, will outline the latest developments south of the border, describe what works and don’t works in the U.S., and offer insights on the Canadian strategy. Professor Kamin was recently quoted inTime magazine describing differences between the U.S. and Canadian approaches. In this special webinar to be held on 4/20, hear from someone who can make sense of the myriad components of marijuana law reform.

Recorded Webinar | April 2017 | The Conference Board of Canada

Income Inequality, Poverty and Social Cohesion: A Report Card on Social Outcomes in the Provinces

The unexpected results of the two major electoral events of 2016 in the U.K. and the U.S., highlight the social unrest underpinned by growing inequality. Income inequality, poverty, and gender equality are among the key issues garnering growing attention worldwide. Examining inequities is key to understanding what leads to the polarization of societies. How do Canada and its provinces compare to global peers on social outcomes? In the previous Society report card, Canada ranked as a “B” grade performer relative to its peer countries. Although Canada fares well on many measures, it does not do as well on indicators such as income inequality and poverty. How does Canada rank against its peers now? How does performance vary across the country? For the first time, How Canada Performs will compare the social performance of individual provinces with that of 16 advanced peer countries. Join Sheila Rao as she presents the findings of this year’s Report Card and discusses where Canada has improved, where it could do better, and how the provinces rank relative to one another and in a global context. Attendees will learn how the provinces and peer countries fare on indicators of equity, including income inequality, intergenerational income mobility, and the gender wage gap; and how they do on indicators of social cohesion, such as life satisfaction, crime, and voter turnout.

Recorded Webinar | April 2017 | Sheila Rao | The Conference Board of Canada

A Budget In the Midst of Uncertainty—Canadian Outlook from the Chief Economist

The 2017-18 budget sees the federal government trying to boost the economy beyond the slow growth of previous years while wrestling with large annual deficits. The government is expected to increase spending over the near term through substantial growth in its program spending and transfers to other levels of government for infrastructure. The Conference Board projects an estimated deficit of $28.9 billion in fiscal 2017–18, slightly higher than the government’s estimate of $27.8 billion. Our projections show the federal government still facing an operating shortfall of $15 billion in 2020–21. In this special 60-minute webinar that takes place just hours after the federal government tables its budget, Craig Alexander will discuss the implications of the measures presented in the budget, including: Spending Initiatives Fiscal Outlook Impact on Economic Growth The analysis is based on the Conference Board’s unique capacity to assess the budget and provide clients with leading-edge insights. Craig will put the new budget measures in the context of the Conference Board’s latest global, national and provincial outlooks.

Recorded Webinar | March 2017 | Craig Alexander | The Conference Board of Canada

Canadian Outlook Economic Forecast: Winter 2017

This quarterly economic forecast provides highlights of the Canadian Outlook report, which presents the short-term national outlook.

Report | 174 pages | January 2017 | The Conference Board of Canada

Résumé de la note de conjoncture canadienne : Hiver 2017

Ce résumé trimestriel reproduit, dans ses grandes lignes, la Note de conjoncture canadienne qui donne les perspectives économiques à court terme pour l’ensemble du Canada.

Résumé | 26 pages | January 2017 | Matthew Stewart | Le Conference Board du Canada

Canadian Outlook Executive Summary: Winter 2017

This quarterly economic forecast provides highlights of the Canadian Outlook report, which presents the short-term national outlook.

Executive Summary | 25 pages | January 2017 | Matthew Stewart | The Conference Board of Canada

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