A report on the impact of the termination of the North American Free Trade Agreement says that it would trim just over half a percentage point from Canada’s economy. It finds that the end of NAFTA would shave 0.55 per cent off Canada’s GDP, push 25,000 to 50,000 Canadians from the workforce and reduce exports by 2.8 per cent. The report comes from Dan Ciuriak, the former head of computer modeling for Canada’s foreign-affairs ministry. Canadian Press reports Monday that Mr. Ciuriak, now a private consultant, spent recent weeks analyzing the numbers for a report for the CD Howe think tank.
BAD, BUT NOT AS BAD AS EXPECTED
The damage predicted in his report is the equivalent of a noticeable economic downturn, albeit far less than the 2.5 per cent GDP loss he said he was expecting to find in an interview last month, as he began his work. Ciuriak said the damage would be almost completely offset if the original 1987 Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement were to survive the NAFTA. The beneficial impact of the old free trade agreement was the ease with which US automakers — Ford and General Motors — made cars in Canada and shipped them to the US. Preserving the Canada-Mexico partnership in NAFTA would have only a very slight impact on the damage if the U.S. leaves, Ciuriak found.