Are You Selling to the Rebounding U.S.?

In this week's Export Wire: Canadian exporters aren't capitalizing on U.S. growth; inside a new federal program to boost foreign sales; and where Uber doesn't work

Written by John Lorinc

The Case of the Missing U.S. Exports”: The Wall Street Journal has joined the head-scratching about why the rebounding U.S. economy hasn’t produced a commensurate bounce for Canada’s non-energy exporters. According to a post last week on the WSJ‘s Real Time Economics Blog, Canada should have seen a $40 to $50 billion boost in shipments across the 49th parallel, but those gains never materialized. Quoting a Bank of Canada research paper, the post notes€¦

“€¦that in some industries€“clothing, textiles and furniture, for example€“competition from lower-cost producers, including China, picked up steam. Trade deals also eliminated some textile tariffs. New entrants started to make bigger inroads; suppliers to the auto industry cited tougher competition from Mexico and [South] Korea.”

Feds giving grants to industry groups to boost exporting: As part of Ottawa’s ongoing push to counter the sluggishness in the non-energy export sector, Conservative government officials have been touting a program designed to provide funding for industry associations to help their members build off-shore markets. According to a report last week in The Mississauga News, MP Erin O’Toole, parliamentary assistant to trade minister Ed Fast, turned up at a fabricated steel products manufacturer to hand over a cheque for $120,000 to a mining-sector group—one of 38 such organizations to get those grants.

The money is from the Government of Canada’s Global Opportunities for Associations (GOA) program, contributing up to $3 million this year to 38 industry associations across Canada. The financial assistance is supposed to create new opportunities for Canadian companies in foreign markets.

Ride-sharing phenom doesn’t work in every business destination (yet): Budget conscious U.S.-bound business travellers take note: Uber, the San Francisco ride-sharing firm that has thrown a monkey wrench in the gears of a growing number of taxi industries, doesn’t work in every destination, including a city that attracts some of the world’s largest trade shows: Las Vegas. According to the Las Vegas Sun,

The company has set up shop or plans to do so in more than 70 cities in the U.S. since launching in 2009—from New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago to smaller outposts like Tacoma, Wash., and Ann Arbor, Mi. Las Vegas is conspicuously absent from the list, leaving tourists and residents who pull up the app wondering why Las Vegas isn’t in on the action€¦ Nevada’s taxi and limousine regulations are among the strictest in the nation, with guidelines on everything from insurance to minimum fares to driver background checks to vehicle safety. The number of authorized taxis operating on the street is limited by a strict medallion system.

“There’s nothing prohibiting them from operating here. They simply need to go to the taxi authority and make an application like every other provider in the industry has done,” Jonathan Schwartz, director at Yellow Checker Star, said about ride-sharing companies.

Export Wire is published every Monday on For more tips on expanding your business internationally, visit our international trade section.

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