Expanding export destinations

N.B. must expand trading sphere as U.S. economy slumps: Graham

Shawn Graham said that as Canada’s most trade-dependent province, with close to 90 per cent of its goods destined for the U.S. marketplace, New Brunswick must expand its trade opportunities. “With a pending recession looming in the United States, it is so important that we diversify our economic base,” Graham told a conference call with reporters from Beijing on Monday morning.

I think if you do your research you will find that every Premier since Wetmore has said the same thing. Actually, I am currently reading a book about New Brunswick circa 1825 and we had a robust trade relationships with the West Indies.

Anyway, two points.

One, this bit about Canada’s most “trade dependent province”. They love to use that phrase but if you take out the oil refinery we are one of the least trade dependent provinces. In fact, exports not including oil, are down by hundreds of millions in recent years. There has been an increase in service exports (call centres) and this is not covered by Statistics Canada.

Second, just exactly how do you ‘diversify’? When Irving alone accounts for something like 65% of your exports (oil, pulp, lumber, etc.) maybe the Premier should ask them to export more to China. Presto, he would have a Kirk MacDonald moment.

Oil and wood make up 76% of all exports. These products are U.S. bound.