China passes Canada to become largest U.S. trading partner

We’re number two: Thanks to low oil prices, China is now the largest trading partner.

The Globe and Mail’s Iain Marlow reports that for the first time since the 1920s Canada is no longer the leading trading partner with the United States. China year-to-year trade has exceeded the total value of U.S. trade with Canada due in part by the crash in oil prices and the reduced value of Canada’s energy export south of the boarder.

Marlow states, according to the U.S. Commerce Department, “China’s trade with U.S. for nine months to the end of September was valued at $441.6-billion (U.S.), or 15.7 per cent of the total U.S. trade, compared with the $438-billion value of Canada-U.S. trade, which has slipped to 15.5 per cent of U.S. trade….”

The article further states that not only have the trade relationship between Canada and the U.S. shaped Canadian industrial development over the course of the past century; it further influences Canada’s economic and foreign policy priorities. The Canada-U.S. trade relationship’s trade shift is a sign of the emerging Asia-Pacific region within the global economy.

Marlow further states that Canadian businesses and political leaders have been feeling the effects of the global shifts across the Asia-Pacific region and observers suggest they should start capitalising on Canada’s competitive advantages. Marlow reports, “Mr. Watt of HSBC suggests Canada’s new government needs to more aggressive in its trade relationship with China, a relationship that has lacked clarity. He also says Canadian businesses have to realise the business landscape is changing.”

In conclusion, Marlow confirms that China has surpassed Canada’s total trade, consisting of both exports and imports, with the United States since trade with the United States surpassed Britain in the late 1920s. This landmark shift illustrates the influence of the Asian-Pacific region in the global economy. In the article, Marlow interviews Mr. Watt of HSBC and states Watt’s thoughts on this historic shift and how Canada can compete with the growing Asian-Pacific region in the global economy.