Canada headed for largest auto trade deficit in its history

    TORONTO, Oct. 8 /CNW/ - Canada's automotive trade balance has
deteriorated dramatically this year, with the country on track to record its
largest automotive trade deficit in history, according to a new study released
today by the Canadian Auto Workers union.
    The report, Canada's Deteriorating Automotive Trade Performance, provides
statistical evidence of the erosion of the country's once-impressive record in
auto trade, and was authored by CAW Economist Jim Stanford.
    Data covering auto exports and imports for the first seven months of this
year indicate that Canada imported $4.3 billion of auto products (both
finished vehicles and parts) more than it exported for that period. This
year's automotive trade deficit could reach $8 billion.
    That would represent by far the largest automotive trade deficit in
Canada's history.
    Canada's largest automotive trade deficit is with Japan (exceeding
$6 billion), while Canada's most unbalanced automotive trade relationship is
with Korea - from whom we purchase 183 times as much automotive value as we
sell there. The fastest-growing automotive imports have been from China (up by
over 1200% in 10 years) and Korea (up by almost 600%).
    The CAW report calls attention to the potential damage more free trade
agreements will do to the auto sector. In particular, the union urges the
federal government to stop its free trade negotiations with Korea. (The latest
round of Canada-Korea negotiations is occurring in Ottawa this week.)
    "Canada's auto industry is already facing unprecedented challenges,
mostly as a result of one-way trade deficits with Asia and Europe," said CAW
President Buzz Hargrove. "Korea has been one of the main culprits. Why on
earth our own government would now reward Korea with even easier access to our
markets is utterly beyond me."
    "A free trade deal with Korea will take a bad situation and make it
worse," Hargrove added. "The government should cancel these talks, and turn
its attention to developing the well-rounded auto policy that we need."

For further information:

For further information: CAW Communications, Shannon Devine, (cell)
(416)302-1699; For a copy of the report, please email

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Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)

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