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Canadian Megatrends: Canada's exports over time: Resources and manufactured goods

Released: 2017-09-29

Trade has been the lifeblood of the Canadian economy pretty much ever since there has been a Canada.

This month's issue of Canadian Megatrends looks at trade from a historical perspective, from the early days when it was products of the lands and forests that drove the economy to more modern times when energy and manufacturing sectors dominated the growth in our exports.

Not only have the commodities that Canada trades changed over time, but so have many of the markets. Not surprisingly our closest neighbour, the United States, has been the country's largest trading partner. But now our commodities travel far and wide around the world.

The relationship between Canada and the United States has been sculpted by geography, as well as by changing regulatory regimes, like the Auto Pact of the 1960s, the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement in the late 1980s and the North American Free Trade Agreement of the 1990s.

Canada has had to adapt as well to changes in the world economy, as growth shifted away from manufacturing and competition increased. In turn, since the start of the 21st century, energy exports have gained greater prominence, supported by generally favourable prices and higher global demand.


The article "Canada's exports over time: Resources and manufactured goods" is now available as part of Canadian Megatrends (Catalogue number11-630-X).

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