The importance of trade agreements has probably never been more evident than it is right now.
Top of mind is the new tariff structure being imposed by the U.S. We’re in the midst of NAFTA renegotiations and, as something of an off-set, we’ve seen the re-emergence of the TPP and Canada has put together a free-trade deal with Europe.
Then Andrew Scheer is in the UK saying he would hammer out a bilateral trade deal with them if he was prime minister. And then there are the domestic issues related to trade between provinces such as Alberta and B.C., and Alberta and Saskatchewan.
For a province like Saskatchewan, which relies heavily on trade, stronger rules with more clarity are better. We have a small consumer base here so we have to export our excess production.
Now, while we talk a lot about this, we don’t often put the magnitude of these forces into context. The latest trade numbers are helpful in understanding it. Here’s the simple numbers: For every dollar of imports into Saskatchewan, we export three dollars worth.