Mar 9, 2018
Canada would lose 91,000 jobs if NAFTA ends: Conference Board
Canada's economy could lose close to 100,000 jobs over a two-year span if U.S. President Donald Trump makes good on his threat to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to a new report by the Conference Board of Canada.
The report estimates the end of NAFTA would shave at least half a percentage point off Canada's economic growth and result in 85,000 lost jobs in the first year after termination, with job losses rising to 91,000 by the second year of the post-NAFTA reality.
Canada, the United States, and Mexico wrapped up the seventh round of renegotiations in Mexico City on Monday. At the time, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer voiced his frustration with the slow pace of progress in the talks.
"Our time is running very short," he said while pointing to various imminent elections in the three countries.
"We hope for a successful completion of these talks, and we would prefer a three-way, tripartite agreement. If that proves impossible, we are prepared to move on a bilateral basis, if agreement can be made."
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The Conference Board anticipates Canada would face "most favoured nation" tariffs on exports to the States, and would see shipments south of the border fall 1.8 per cent in the year after termination, with the automotive sector suffering the sharpest declines.
Meanwhile, the think tank anticipates business investment in Canada would plunge by $3.3 billion in that first year after NAFTA ends.
"In the longer term, Canada would have a reduced ability to attract investment related to securing access to the U.S. market," the Conference Board wrote, "which could result in an even bigger economic impact in future years."