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International Trade

Canadians value free trade. A surprise development in the 21 century. Not too long ago we fought elections on free trade. Now it is part of our cultural attitude.

A 2017 global Ipsos poll found that Canada is the 8th most supportive of free trade of 24 countries polled. Fully 89% either strongly agree (56%) or somewhat agree (33%) that “Free trade is beneficial for my country’s economy.”

Historical tracking shows that after NAFTA came into force support for the agreement rose slowly. It reached as high as 60% in 1994. Later surveys would show even more support. Free trade became part of the status quo. None of the major parties or provincial governments have made it a political issue so Canadians were left with little reason to move off their support for free trade.

The U.S. is our main trade partner and so NAFTA and its successor dominate polls. Trade with our nations is on the agenda and Canadians are supportive.

International Trade Involvement is Net Positive but 1 in 4 have Protectionist Orientation

A recent Global Attitudes Survey 2016 by the Pew Research Center provides an interesting window into how Canadians see trade independent of specific agreements or specific trade agreements. Canadians are trade positive, in part because political...

Canadians Increasingly Believe NAFTA Benefits Canada [Angus Reid Institute]

As Canada is about to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, it is interesting that Canadians have become more positive about the role of NAFTA in Canada. More than half (56%) now think the...

Free Trade Benefits |

In the abstract, Canadians value free trade. A recent global Ipsos poll shows that Canada is the 8th most supportive of free trade of 24 countries polled. This is a very strong endorsement of...

Handle with Care: Trudeau, Trump and the Canadian Public

As the initial volleys of a trade war are exchanged it is worth considering the potential consequences of Trudeau’s need to balance out maintaining public support with achieving positive outcomes from our trade and...