Strong loonie sending exporters (and Cdn. jobs?) overseas
No one knows quite what to make of a strong Canadian loonie.
We’ve all heard the harm it gives our economic outlook though, let’s be honest, it’s a little tough to grasp such drawbacks when our dollar goes as far as it does. It’s a cruel reality, but at a time when the loonie leaves more money in our pockets after U.S. shopping trips or vacations to the sunny south, we’re not really thinking about foreign affiliates, offshore production or the balance sheets of Canadian exporters.
Of course, we should, because no matter what kind of consumer boom we’re feeling, the strong loonie may slowly be rotting Canada’s economy from within.
According to a new report released this morning, Canadian firms have been coping with the loonie’s rise exactly as we expected them to: by shifting production overseas.
By numbers from Export Development Canada, sales from foreign affiliates of Canadian firms grew by more than twice the rate of domestically-originated exports between 2000 and 2008.
That’s the period, as you know, when the loonie/greenback disparity dramatically shrank. In 2000, the Canadian buck hovered around 60 cents to the U.S. dollar before rising to parity in 2008, according to the Canadian Press.
During that time, overseas investment assets by Canadian firms rose from $356 billion in 2000 to about $650 billion in 2008.
Similarly, as the high dollar drives Canadian businesses to dump operations to low-tax, cheap-wage nations, it’s becoming more expensive for foreign companies to continue production in the great, white north.
Two foreign-owned entities based in Calgary, for instance, have either seen layoffs or are preparing for the worst following recent “streamline” efforts by their parent companies.
And while it may be unfair to pin the pink slips – given to Houston-based ConocoPhillips’ Calgary workers this month and feared coming by Alberta employees of Dallas-based Hunt Oil, which has sold $525 million of its Canadian assets to Korea National Oil Corp. – on a stronger loonie, it might be tough to discount the coincidence, too.
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
Posted by: Steve | Feb 10, 2022 7:40:49 PM
Great news for all Canadian retiree's, the wealthy and politicians buying land abroad! An inflated dollar today and a collapsed Canadian property market to buy back into in five to ten years. Come to think of it, the only people who don't win from this equation are people who work for a living.
Posted by: Chazztbay | Feb 13, 2022 5:21:47 PM
Well Steve, since most of our manufactured goods, and food is imported you should actually be happy. If you knew simple economics or anything about the Canadian Economy you would know this.
Posted by: Tanya | Feb 13, 2022 5:44:08 PM
LOL love the comments Chazztbay. You crack me up.
CDN$ up40%+ in 15 years, domestic production as a result leaves and We resort to strip mining the whole country for cash.
It's sweet that children today are being fed the idea that 'this' is economic development. Thanks for the smile.
Posted by: paul melo | Feb 13, 2022 6:08:34 PM
what's importante is to send jobs out of the country because when i'm jobless i will not be able to buy the product because i have no money .............. companies of canada wake up.
Posted by: JOE | Feb 13, 2022 6:09:03 PM
Posted by: ranger1 | Feb 13, 2022 6:11:26 PM
It is amazing how 35 years ago the loonie was above parity by 10 cents and the economy was well people working people spending,,,hmmmm sounds like todays market.
The only thing wrong with the economics is the government taking more out of your pay than what is required. Them increasing the CPP without a word, sorry for the next generations loss to a ever money grabing government.
Posted by: Innadiated | Feb 13, 2022 6:39:12 PM
Well, the American dollar is devaluing faster everyday, and yet we continue to call the canadian dollar "stronger". First mistake, its NOT stronger. The American dollar is weaker, there is a BIG difference.
I find it interesting the author negated to add in this fact, considering Gold is valued around $1400 even in Canadian that should tell you how "Strong" our dollar truly is. Our dollar is sinking with the Anglo-American ship, but since we only compare ourselves to other Anglo-American economies, our population doesn't notice whats actually happening which is that ALL currencies are devaluing at the SAME time. You can almost feel the upwards pressure on the Canadian dollar in your pocket.
Posted by: Doug | Feb 13, 2022 8:16:21 PM
I think "ranger" has it right. All these years of socialism and the increases in "free" programs has made us fat,lazy,and stupid.Did we reall think these programs were 'free"? Well,take my word for it,there is nothing of real value available from government,for "free"
Either way,the middle class pays.If we have a low dollar,we pay for that by paying more for products we buy.And not only that,foreigners buy big pieces of our country,for 60 cents on the dollar.That is exactly the same as the "corporate welfare" Jack Layton is always whining about.It's the same as higer taxes,but just collected differently.
This high dollar comes with a different set of problems,But it's up to use to adjust to it.At least now,Americans are not buying all our waterfront property at 60 cents per dollar.Now we need to lower input costs,and improve productivity.THAT is how you keep industry working here.By competing,and winning.Raising and lowering the dollar is a mugs game.It gives the impression that things are working well,when in fact,they are not.
This adjustment will be tough,and go on for several years.But I believe the end result will be a better country for our children and grandchildren.At least when they bid on a home,or buy a business,they will not be out bid by foreigners whose currency is worth more than ours is.
Our parents did well with a strong dollar.And so can we.We just need to stop whining and get to work.
Posted by: M | Feb 13, 2022 8:36:13 PM
Shipping jobs overseas has nothing to do with the Canadian dollar as it has been happening for decades. This is 100% due to bad policy and corporate greed. If you can pay a worker a $1 a day in china it doesn't matter what the dollar value is we can't compete with that.
Posted by: EYES WIDE OPEN | Feb 14, 2022 12:05:12 AM
What a load of claptrap, and excrement. The strength or weakness of the cdn$ has little to do with jobs leaving this country, we're in the same boat as the american working classes. We are being stripped of our ability to earn an income at the hands of the multinational corporations that can freely move jobs and productions to impoverished regions of the planet and are allowed to continue to sell their products/services in the wealthier countries of this earth without being held to account for the misery being wrought in both the poor and the wealthy regions. This is all part of a world wide effort to create an elite ruling class and a working poor mass of people to be used as livestock to meet the whims of their masters. If everyone on this planet or if better suited country by country, we stood up to the banksters and multinational robber corporate barons and said no more cooperation with their system of government, taxation, banking, money, etc, etc. WE the people could put a stop to the suffering and misery of mankind.
Posted by: mike | Feb 14, 2022 4:22:32 AM
canada is possibly the one and only country in the world who doesn't have to rely on any other nation for anything. we have it all right here. why do we buy foreign. we don't need the world they need us for our resources. why do we continue to knuckle to foreign pressure. we can fend to ourselves. let's manufacture our own products and keep our economy strong. others need what we have. let them come to us. start supporting our own canadian companies and force the foreigners out of our country. we have all the natural resources to support ourselves. we have all the food we need. they need us we don't need them. wake canada.
Posted by: SP | Feb 14, 2022 10:13:01 AM
It would appear that the main reason that jobs are being shipped overseas is because companies find it more profitable to do so. 'Now' if taxes were levied by Canada on all firms products based on projected profits we might see a change and fewer tax haven's springing up.
Did Ireland take off economically because they invented new things or were much more productive? Nope, they were just a part of the EU and became a tax avoidance scheme for Google and other companies operating in the EU (seems to have worked out just find for Ireland, or not...).
The problem with the US / EU / Canada etc is that our Government's have given up collecting taxes on companies and the rich and are instead trying to make up the shortfall by taxing the citizens who can't leave. In 'theory' this might not be a tenable approach to our governments finances.
The US/UK are trying to deflate their debt away but that is at best a transient band-aid. However it does make the CDN $ look good, Woo Hoo, go Canada !
Posted by: Albertan | Feb 14, 2022 2:36:55 PM
Wowl there has been a lot of protectionist solcialism tossed in here.
In the long-term global free trade will lead to the economically best outcome for the most people. The only issue remaining with this model are the remaining holdouts that are stopping free trade.
Taxing imports (which is what most of you want to do) isn't a tax on the multinationals. Its a tax on the local residents of this country. China sends over a tv for $200 to Canada. Local producers can only make one for $400 so you want to put a levy against the foreign producer to level it out. Now the local consumer pays $400, $200 to the foreign producer and $200 to the government in tax. The multinationals still get their $200 they just sell a couple less tvs as some from Canada will also be purchased. So you guys want to actually tax us, the consumers, more so you can keep your inefficient overpaid jobs? This is the true effect of protectionism.
Also protectionism breeds inefficiencies.
In Canada we are a worldwide leader in exporting cattle & hogs which are open market. Yet we have to protect and subsidize dairy and eggs because we always have so they have never had outside competition so they have stayed inefficient. This is why our eggs and milk cost much more than in the U.S. That is tariffs at work.
Free trade is about each region producing that which they are best and most efficient at producing and trading that product with other areas. This productivity is measured by the cost.
Canada's manufacturing by and large (yes there are exceptions) can not compete with China. They do it cheaper. What amazes me is people that want to do unskilled labour and make a good living at it. If you are unskilled (ie. somebody can learn your job in under a week) be happy you don't starve.
Posted by: SP | Feb 14, 2022 9:29:46 PM
For the young guys on the prairies. The issue isn't protectionism, it is about a level playing field and paying for services used. Many Canadian/US companies move aspects of their businesses to Bermuda, which has a zero tax rate. How much of the Canadian infrastructure, pension or military budget does that 0% cover?
There is a parallel issue that all Tea Party supporters understand and it is that of 'illegal' immigration, or what you might call direct 'free market competition' on the ground. You know, people migrating into your area bringing Tuberculosis, Diphtheria and willing to work below minimum wage. They're unskilled I hear you say, but wait! If our government can't afford to pay anyone to enforce workplace standards what makes you think your employer will care? Besides, who's to say that they would be unskilled? After all the high loonie will be paying for a Peso mortgage so someone perhaps even more qualified than you would be happy to work for $8/hr.
The main reason domestic employers can't compete with China is that we do not yet hold their production processes to our environmental standards which is ironic. Canadian law forbids our tourists to abuse or harming children of the countries we visit yet we pay people in those countries to abuse those children on our behalf be it making Sporting Goods/Sports wear or by Contaminating the environment these children grow up in.
Though... that said the pollution that goes on in Alberta in the name of progress may have already caused irreversible damage to the organs used by many people there to think. This would explain how they can miss that a product designed and sold in Canada/USA (either of the big smart phones) but assembled in China is merely using global free trade agreements to duck national taxation obligations. You can bet that if the Chinese tried to sell 'Berry or 'Phones on their own both R1M and 4pple would demand a diplomatic/military intervention.
The point is that our democratic government is bought and paid for which is why we have free trade manufacturing but only Bell/Rogers-Telus/Shaw for Phone+Internet+Media.
Canada forfeited it's Aviation future with the ending of the Avro Arrow but in exchange we saved a fortune via the US military, what is the average working Canadian getting out of the present arrangement and is it worth it?
Posted by: tax avoidance | Feb 16, 2022 7:20:11 AM
Wow! You are definitely a magician. I have always liked to know others feelings and thoughts, but I must say your article is one of the best I have read. And I suggest others to read it.tax avoidance