The report calls for a comprehensive strategy to leverage existing strengths, coordinate with the U.S. and international allies and establish new footholds in North American supply chains. This approach, however, will necessitate policymakers to think through our trade, tax, regulatory and skills policies to ensure the right mix is in place for Canadian industry to thrive in a new era of global trade.
Not only could this strategy usher in a new phase of economic growth, particularly in areas such as clean tech, ag tech, software and services, we also note it could boost the fortunes of traditional Canadian industries set to be disrupted by the changes underway, including autos, energy and metals.
The report offers five considerations to usher in a new era in Canadian trade:
- Create a public/private body with the goal of developing coherent trade, competitiveness, and industrial strategies to position Canada in the green, digitally enabled economy.
- Build a Canada-U.S.-Mexico Council to map out comprehensive strategies for key North American supply chains.
- Establish Canada as the principal, secure supplier of critical minerals to the U.S.
- Evaluate the potential of a North American requirement under CUSMA that all raw materials used in the manufacture of batteries, EVs and other vehicles be ethically sourced.
- Advance Canada’s export diversification strategy, opening new global markets for Canadian businesses beyond the U.S.—and in particular with fast-growing emerging markets.