February 27, 2010
February 26, 2010
Canada's current account deficit narrowed in the fourth quarter of 2009 as the country's surplus in goods trade with the United States expanded for the first time in six quarters, Statistics Canada said on Friday.
The current account gap shrank less than expected to C$9.77 billion ($9.22 billion) from C$13.80 billion in the previous quarter. It was the fifth straight deficit after a decade of surpluses and was bigger than market expectations of an C$8.50 billion shortfall due to widening deficits in services trade and investment income.
The current account results add to growing evidence of a gradual economic recovery in Canada and come as the government is under pressure to map out a strategy to pay down its record-large fiscal deficit.
Related: U.S. Economic Growth Revised Upward (AP/CBC)
February 25, 2010
Canadian General Freight Index sees slight monthly cost increase in December Canadian trucking costs appear to be stabilizing, but at a level nearly 10 percent lower than a year ago, according to an index based on less-than-truckload and truckload rates.
Overall freight costs rose 0.2 percent in December from the previous month, said the Canadian General Freight Index published by Nulogx, a transportation management company that processes more than $750 million in freight transactions a year. Read more here.
Export Development Canada (EDC) today announced total business volume of $82.8 billion with a record 8,469 Canadian companies, despite a 24 per cent decline in Canadian exports in 2009.
"The recession and credit crunch constrained the capacity of financial institutions to fully support Canadian companies, triggering an increase in demand for our financial products in the last quarter of 2008 and throughout 2009," said Eric Siegel, President and CEO of EDC.
Last year, the Government of Canada asked EDC to increase the availability of domestic credit to Canadian businesses during the credit crunch. Working closely with private Canadian banks, Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), credit insurers and sureties, EDC increased its capacity to serve Canadian businesses during the downturn, adding $2.5 billion in credit to the Canadian domestic market when it was needed most.
EDC's domestic activities directly helped 208 companies with their trade-related business in Canada during 2009. EDC will continue to support domestic transactions for the duration of its domestic powers. In addition, EDC increased the amount of business volume conducted in partnership with Canadian banks, BDC, sureties and other financial institutions both in Canada and internationally by 20 per cent, reaching $16.9 billion.
EDC's emerging market business volumes reached $18.7 billion, a decline of 15 per cent compared to 2008 but less than the overall decline in Canadian exports. Similarly, EDC's business volume for Canadian Direct Investment Abroad was $4 billion, a decline of 15 per cent compared to 2008. Read more here.
February 24, 2010
The 2010 federal budget will be presented on March 4, 2010, and KPMG invites you to attend a post-budget webcast that same day to quickly find out how tax changes in the budget may affect you and your business.
Senior KPMG Tax professionals will share their first impressions and insights on the budget’s tax changes shortly after they are released from the government’s advance briefing lock-up in Ottawa. The webcast will also feature two keynote speakers:
• The Globe & Mail political correspondent Jeffrey Simpson will comment on the budget’s political implications.
• Economist Jock Finlayson, Executive Vice President – Policy, Business Council of British Columbia, will comment on the budget’s economic implications.
Click here for more information.
A new protectionist American stimulus bill that could be signed into law soon has prompted fresh accusations from the opposition that the government has severely mishandled the recent Buy American deal. However, the trade minister says the new Canada – U.S. agreement, while not perfect, will in fact give Canadian businesses a competitive advantage.
The US “Jobs for Main Street Act, 2010,” colloquially known as Stimulus II, or the Jobs Bill, has billions in construction projects that will be covered by another Buy American provision. A version of Stimulus II has already been passed by both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate, and the two versions are currently being reconciled. On Monday, the Senate took steps to avoid a Republican filibuster. U.S. President Barack Obama is intent on signing the bill into law, demanding in his recent State of the Union Address to see the bill on his desk “without delay.”
On Feb. 5, the Canadian government announced it had reached a deal with the U.S. exempting Canadian businesses from Buy American requirements in the original federal stimulus spending program, known as Stimulus I. This deal had three parts. One is access to seven U.S. stimulus projects, which had to be ready to proceed to construction within 12 months of February 2008.
Critics have said this provided very little time for Canadian companies to compete. In exchange, all provinces and territories signed on to the World Trade Organization’s General Procurement Agreement, allowing American companies to bid on provincial and municipal procurement contracts. The third part of the deal is an agreement to enter into negotiations within the year to set up a permanent procurement deal.
Because the U.S. - Canada deal only covers Stimulus I, if the U.S. passes Stimulus II before a permanent agreement is reached – a situation that is almost certain – Canada will have to negotiate again to receive exemptions. Read more here.
(Embassy – Lee Berthiaume)
Canada Post, provincial liquor boards across the country and Ontario’s new Green Energy Act are all being targeted by the European Union in its trade talks with Canada, confidential EU briefing notes show. While none are considered deal breakers, several touch on long-standing irritants between the two sides and go a long way to revealing just how far-reaching a deal negotiations are hoping for.
Last May, the Ontario government passed the Green Energy Act. The intent was to lay the foundation for a new renewable energy industry in the province. One of the key aspects was feed-in tariffs, in which the government pays individuals, communities and businesses that generate electricity from renewable sources like solar or wind. The idea is to offset the cost of implementing such projects.
However, in order to take advantage of the feed-in tariff program, or FIT program, a certain percentage of the project must include provincially-made goods and labour. […]
“The idea behind the domestic content regulations is to encourage investment, green manufacturing and construction and installation jobs in Ontario,” reads one of the EU documents. A second document (neither are dated) reads that the EU’s objective is “to convince the governments of Ontario and Canada to abandon the requirement to use domestically produced equipment to produce renewable electricity in order to benefit from high feed-in tariffs.” It goes on to state that the medium-term objective is to avoid the Ontario initiative becoming a precedent for other provinces. Read more here.
February 22, 2010
This Air Freight in Canada industry profile is an essential resource for top-level data and analysis covering the Air Freight industry. It includes detailed data on market size and segmentation, plus textual and graphical analysis of the key trends and competitive landscape, leading companies and demographic information.
• Detailed information is included on market size, measured by value and/or volume
• Five forces scorecards provide an accessible yet in depth view of the market’s competitive landscape
View the Air Freight in Canadareport here.
Trans-Canada Series: March 29 – April
Locations: Moncton, Montreal, Markham, Cambridge, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Vancouver
In June 2010, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will begin accepting electronic manifests containing cargo and conveyance data from highway carriers. Unprecedented cooperation amongst all parties in the supply chain will be critical to ensuring that the right information gets to the right place at the right time to avoid delays crossing the border.
I.E.Canada, the Canadian Trucking Alliance and provincial trucking associations are partnering in this series of hands on workshops across Canada. Led by Oryst Dydynsky of The Descartes Systems Group Inc., an industry leader and Co-Chair of I.E.Canada’s Customs and Legislation Committee, and Jason Proceviat of CBSA, each workshop will include an overview of the eManifest highway initiative and the new requirements, as well as an interactive walk-through exercise to highlight the process changes that will be required of carriers, freight forwarders, importers and their brokers.
For further details or to register contact: Jesse Arsenault, 416-595-5333 ext. 37
Meet with premiers; Gathering hailed as ‘huge step forward’
Canadian politicians have long complained about the challenges of getting their voices heard in U.S. halls of power. But for seven Canadian premiers, there’s no longer any reason to complain.
Armed with arguments and statistics in favour of free trade, and employing a bit of Canuck charm, Canada’s provincial leaders got an enthusiastic welcome this weekend from U.S. state governors who generally endorsed calls for stronger cross-border ties and commerce.
By the end of the premiers’ first-ever meeting on Saturday with the National Governors Association, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell was singing a gravelly voiced rendition of O Canada. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour proclaimed the Canada-U.S. relationship as “breathtaking” and unique to the world. Read more here.