The economic crisis and the health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic have led to a significant drop in our Québec merchandise exports abroad.
Compared to 2019, the value of our international exports decreased by $ 7.1 billion; 88% of the decrease is attributable to our main international “customer”, the United States.
According to Statistics Canada, our exports to the United States shrank in 2020 by $ 6.3 billion, down 8.5% from the previous year.
You will not be surprised to learn that the same downward trend in exports has obviously been observed across Canada. The situation has even deteriorated more than in Quebec.
As a result, Canadian exports in 2020 fell 12.2%, down $ 66.6 billion from 2019.
Like Quebec, the bulk of the drop in Canadian exports also targeted the United States, which alone accounted for 90% of the drop, or $ 60 billion.
Political relations between the government of Justin Trudeau and the Chinese government of Xi Jinping are extremely strained.
Xi Jinping blames Trudeau for the arrest in Canada of the financial director of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of the group’s founder. And for his part, Justin Trudeau accuses Jinping of having retaliated by arresting in China former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor, whom the Chinese accuse — of spying.
But, surprisingly, despite these strained relations between Canada and China, our exports to China, both Quebec and Canada, increased in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is saying a lot, although we are talking about modest increases in terms of value here, that is, an increase of $ 1.5 billion for Quebec and $ 2 billion for the country as a whole.
Where the Chinese have shown greater “openness” is in the face of their “enemy”, the United States, which, under Donald Trump —, has waged a vigorous war for the past four years. trade to China.
In the midst of the economic crisis and the imposition of customs tariffs, the United States succeeded in 2020 in exporting to China for $ 18 billion more American products than in 2019. Which in itself is a feat! However, the fact remains that the United States has a trade deficit of US $ 311 billion with China!
FALL OF IMPORTS
While exports of Quebec products and Canadian products recorded a decline in 2020, it should be noted that imports of foreign products also registered a significant decline.
While imports of foreign products fell by $ 13.4 billion in Quebec (-15%), they recorded a decrease of $ 60 billion (-10%) in all provinces.
In terms of the trade balance, Quebec is doing in 2020 with a surplus of $ 7.9 billion, compared to a surplus of $ 1.6 billion in 2019. In Canada as a whole, we end up with a trade deficit of $ 63.8 billion, up $ 6.2 billion from the previous year.
One more reason, however, to continue to maintain excellent trade relations with the United States, know that Quebec’s trade balance with the Americans is $ 36.2 billion and that of Canada is $ 82.3 billion.
With China, we are right in the hole, namely $ 6.8 billion for Quebec and $ 52 billion for Canada.