Canadians see danger in trade reliance on US

October 31st, 2008 - 1:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Oct 31 (IANS) As resource-rich Canada seeks closer trade ties with Europe, over a third of its citizens blame their country’s overdependence on the US for its current economic troubles.In a survey by the global parcel delivery giant United Parcel Service (UPS), 36 percent Canadians blamed the current crisis on their overdependence on the US which accounts for 85 percent of its trade.

Seven per cent attributed the Canadian downturn to the inaccessibility of credit that has marred US financial markets. However, 53 percent Canadians maintained that globalization is good for the country despite the current crisis.

“In anticipation of a market fallout, UPS surveyed Canadians on their economic views in late August with the intention of re-exploring those views as the financial crisis progressed,” said UPS (Canada) president Mike Tierney in a statement Thursday.

“When the second poll was conducted this month, we anticipated a much higher degree of concern related to US credit unease, but in fact Canadians made it even clearer that US trade dependence was of much greater concern,” he said.

The second survey showed a 56 per cent increase in concern among Canadians about the country’s trade relationship with the US from only six weeks earlier, when only 23 per cent Canadians blamed the economic downturn on US trade dependence.

“Clearly, Canadians are becoming more aware of the dangers associated with limiting trade activity to the US,’ said Tierney.

According to the survey, 11 per cent Canadians attributed the economic downturn the appreciation of the Canadian dollar and its impact on the trade between Canada and the US which is worth about $600 billion annually.

“There’s definitely been a shift in how Canadians see the relationship between the US financial markets and the stability of our economy here,” said Tierney.

“It links into the overall theme that while it’s important to maintain strong ties with our neighbours, it’s equally important not to put all our eggs in one basket and to seek out additional trade opportunities elsewhere,” he said.

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