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April 16, 2021

2020 was a year without precedent for Canadian international trade

Statistic Canada published an interesting re-cap of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s international trade.

Because of the multiple disruptions caused by the pandemic, the value of Canada’s annual merchandise exports decreased 12.4% in 2020 to $524 billion, while annual imports fell 8.5% to $561 billion.

Consequently, the merchandise trade deficit with the world more than doubled from $15.4 billion in 2019 to $37.3 billion in 2020. When international trade in goods and international trade in services are combined, Canada’s total trade deficit went from $36.9 billion in 2019 to $44.8 billion in 2020.

And even before the effects of the pandemic, the year 2020 had already been marked by several events that affected Canada’s international trade activity, such as a car assembly plant closure in Ontario, a strike in the rail industry, a pipeline rupture in North Dakota and rail blockades.

See Statistics Canada’s full recount in this issue of the Daily.

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