Canadian Economy Halts – GDP Growth Drops to 0.1 Percent, and No-One Is Talking About Why…

The Canadian government shocked the professional financial and economic media with their latest fourth quarter GDP release showing the economy has essentially come to a grinding halt at 0.1% growth.  [Compare to U.S. GDP growth of 3%]

The Canadian Q4 GDP growth isn’t one percent, it’s one-tenth of one percent: 0.1%, essentially halted; but everyone discussing this is missing something very important.

First, The Financial Post headline:

[FP] Canada’s economy practically came to a halt in the final three months of 2018, in a much deeper-than-expected slowdown that brings the underlying strength of the expansion into doubt.

The country’s economy grew by just 0.1 per cent in the fourth quarter, for an annualized pace of 0.4 per cent, Statistics Canada said Friday from Ottawa. That’s the worst quarterly performance in two and a half years, down from annualized 2 per cent in the third quarter and well below economist expectations for a 1 per cent annualized increase.

While a slowdown was widely expected in the final months of the year due to falling oil prices, it’s a much bleaker picture than anyone anticipated with weakness extending well beyond the energy sector. Consumption spending grew at the slowest pace in almost four years, housing fell by the most in a decade, business investment dropped sharply for a second straight quarter, and domestic demand posted its largest decline since 2015.  (read more)

The financial punditry go on to give multiple reasons for the drop and all of them are factually accurate.  However, there’s a key aspect that I cannot find discussed in any analysis of the data.

A very specific key aspect.

First, let me say CTH does not want to see the Canadian economy falter; not even a little bit.  By disposition CTH wants to see economic abundance for everyone, especially our close friends and allies.  But stand back, look at the bigger, BIG, picture, the media always avoid discussing…. you’ve got to ask yourself how can Canada be slowing down at the exact same time the USA economy is skyrocketing?…. There’s a connection.

Again, all of the currently expressed financial reasons for the slowdown are accurate; I am not disputing them. However, it’s what they are not discussing that really matters.

In the third paragraph of the FP article I highlighted a partial sentence: “business investment dropped sharply for a second straight quarter.”  That means sharp drops in business investment for Canada in the time-frame  July 2018 through December 2018.

Now pause, and reference the U.S. fourth quarter: “Consumer spending continued to grow solidly and, most encouragingly, business investment growth recovered sharply after a dip in the third quarter. Despite big external headwinds and financial market volatility in the fourth quarter, U.S. firms are not retrenching sharply on capex.”

Astute economic followers will note what the background is.

♦In July, August, September (Q3) of 2018 the new NAFTA negotiation was in the final stages. The U.S. and Mexico had already come to the terms; Canada was the outlier having to re-join an agreement in September where they previously abandoned negotiations.

♦On October 1st, 2018, the first day of Q4, the USMCA was unveiled. Now the U.S., Mexico and Canada were all committed.  Throughout the fourth quarter, all business interests had an opportunity to review the much anticipated USMCA outcome and details.

Multinational corporations, domestic corporations, U.S. and Canadian businesses were all looking for the same very specific detail:  What happened with the NAFTA loophole?

Within the new USMCA the critically important NAFTA loophole was closed.

Over the past three decades both Canada and Mexico structured key parts of their independent trade agreements to take advantage of their unique access to the U.S. market.  Under the existing NAFTA, Mexico and Canada generate billions in economic activity through exploiting the NAFTA loophole.

China, Asia (writ large), and the EU enter into trade agreements with Mexico and Canada as back-doors into the U.S. market.  So long as corporations can avoid U.S. tariffs (and rules of origin that pertain to those tariffs), by going through Canada and Mexico they would continue to exploit this approach.

By shipping parts to Mexico and/or Canada; and by deploying satellite assembly facilities in Canada and/or Mexico; China, Asia and to a lesser extent EU corporations exploited a NAFTA loophole for rules of origin on finished goods.

Through a process of building, assembling or partially manufacturing their products in Mexico/Canada those foreign corporations could skirt U.S. trade tariffs and direct U.S. trade agreements.  The finished foreign products entered the U.S. under NAFTA rules.

Why deal with the U.S. when you can just deal with Mexico, and use NAFTA rules to ship your product directly into the U.S. market?

This exploitative approach, a backdoor to the U.S. market, was the primary reason for massive foreign investment in Canada and Mexico; it was also the primary reason why candidate Donald Trump, now President Donald Trump, wanted to shut down that loophole and renegotiate NAFTA.

At the conclusion of Round #6, just before giving up on Chrystia Freeland for good, this was the direct issue at the heart of a very frustrated U.S.T.R. Lighthizer’s strongly worded response to Canada:

[…]  In another proposal, Canada reserved the right to treat the United States and Mexico even worse than other countries if they enter into future agreements. Those other countries may, in fact, even include China, if there is an agreement between China and [Canada]. This proposal, I think if the United States had made it, would be dubbed a “poison pill.” We did not make it, though. Obviously, this is unacceptable to us, and my guess is it is to the Mexican side also. (read full remarks)

This loophole was the primary reason U.S. manufacturers relocated operations to Mexico.  Corporations within the U.S. Auto-Sector could enhance profits by building in Mexico or Canada using cheap parts imported from Asia/China.  The labor factor was not as big a part of the overall cost consideration as cheaper machined parts and imported raw materials.

If the U.S. applied the same tariffs to Canada and Mexico we apply to all trade nations, then the benefit of using Canada and Mexico -by those trade nations- is lost.

Corporations will no longer have any advantage, and many are likely to just deal directly with the U.S. This was the reason Trump, Lighthizer and Ross to retained Steel and Aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico until they agreed to the new USMCA rules.

When Trump took away the flawed NAFTA market access; and when Trump removed the ability of Mexico and Canada to broker themselves for economic benefit; there was no longer a financial benefit behind corporations investing in Canada.  Under a binding trade pact between the USMCA partners, the NAFTA flaw is closed.

As a direct outcome billions of investment dollars are now being removed from any future consideration into Canada.

That’s the overarching reason for the Canadian GDP to halt.

Here’s the proverbial $64,000 question:  Can Canada re-engineer their economy and actually begin to “make” products again, not just simply “assemble” foreign products from other nations?

  • Can Canada reverse three-decades of specifically structured economic policy decisions that were centered around this “assembly” (brokered) economy?
  • Can the environmentalists be put back into a box while heavy manufacturing and raw material development are reconstituted?
  • Can the environmentalists allow natural resource development?  Oil development, mining operations, lowered overall energy costs, etc?
  • Can Canada somehow lower national energy costs so that Heavy manufacturing might consider restarting? (NOTE: heavy manufacturing requires massive energy use.)
  • Can Canada find any industrial development investors who would be willing to take a chance on all the above?

See the problem?

The Canadian economy is not likely going to get better without a radical shift in Canadian political perspectives and outlook(s).

Then again, perhaps that’s really why Justin and Chrystia were so damned set on protecting their “cultural industries” (ie. media) from competition.

Think about it.

This entry was posted in Auto Sector, Big Government, Big Stupid Government, Canada, Cultural Marxism, Decepticons, Deep State, Dem Hypocrisy, Donald Trump, Economy, Legislation, media bias, NAFTA, President Trump, Professional Idiots, propaganda, Trade Deal, Uncategorized, US dept of agriculture, US Treasury, USA, USMCA. Bookmark the permalink.

338 Responses to Canadian Economy Halts – GDP Growth Drops to 0.1 Percent, and No-One Is Talking About Why…

  1. Gary Lacey says:

    The lack of leadership is rearing its ugly head, can you say Trudeau.
    Trudeau, obviously enamored by the American MSM decided to hop on board and then the trade agreement went south…..he hasn’t recovered from being stuck on stupid.

    A bit of advice for Trudeau….emulated Donald J Trump

    Liked by 4 people

    • Gary Lacey says:

      I wished you had “edit”

      Liked by 1 person

    • drlou007 says:

      Before we all get gitty over the USMCA, remember the agreement must be approved by Congress. I’d like to hear sundance’s thoughts on how that is going to go.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Greg says:

        As DJT said, it doesn’t matter whether congress approves it or not. DJT withdrew from NAFTA, if Congress doesn’t approve USMCA then our trade deals between the US, Canada & Mexico revert to the Pre NAFTA agreement, which POTUS said is even better for the US. He has congress surrounded, either way it’s MAGA.
        So yes we can be “all giddy”, not for USMCA, but for the death of NAFTA.

        Liked by 8 people

    • Duke Magoo says:

      Our little shit of PM couldn’t carry Donald Trump’s brief case.

      Liked by 5 people

      • TheTooner says:

        He could carry Mrs. Trump’s handbag.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Francis Dryden says:

          Proudly! What a complete loser Trudeau is, was and will always be!

          Liked by 2 people

          • Dan says:

            In many nations around globe, Trump is setting the standard for what good leaders can do.
            Not to be too… I don’t know what… but his example could change the trajectory of western nations led by feckless and treasonous governments. Western Civ is being betrayed from within. The next twenty years, I think, will be crucial.


      • BigMamaTEA says:

        But, DukeMagoo, he does wear “sparkly socks.” {sarc} LOL!
        You Canadian treepers need to get busy finding Sparkles’ replacement.

        Afternoon treeps.

        Liked by 2 people

      • As a man thinkth says:

        Canada is not the only country that the globalist powers have sucessfully taken control…Countries with lesser economic base have been quickly and easily subverted into submission… The globalist bundled all of Europe into a package deal called the European Union, from which there appears to be is no escape…However, I have faith in our brothers and sisters in Canada England, Germany, Australia, France and Italy that they will energize a populist movement and take back their countries…


    • Gary Lacey says:

      Sundance notes Canadian politics are in the pockets of the environmentalist, I find it interesting Trudeau is following in the path of the EU.
      Macron environmentalism is France’s problem too.
      Hat tip to sundance, I had no idea environment politics were the root cause of Canada’s problm

      Liked by 4 people

      • Patrick healy says:

        It is amazing how so many people do not realise the burden the global warmists have placed on the world’s energy supply.
        If I told you I pay over £5 – 00 for a (British) gallon of diesel would you believe me?
        Over 75% of that is taxes, most of it to save the ‘planet’ from global warming.
        Our electricity prices are approximately three times yours.
        Britain is far from the most stupid country in this respect.

        Liked by 1 person

        • BigMamaTEA says:

          75%? In TAXES? Patrick healy? Whoa!


        • Latus Dextro says:

          New Zealand, another virtue-signalling centre of the globalist Rainbow cult, generates 60% of its power from hydro (essentially all its household consumption). CPI shows power prices have risen >100% since 2006, against a basket of groceries 36%. The Left doing what the Left always does, stealing work, life and health, this time through an ETS tax on fuel and gas. Unchecked, it will lead to economic collapse, exactly what Christina Figueres stated, and the UN neo-Marxists intend with their euphemistically termed, ‘transformational agenda’: “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.”
          A gentrified, urbanised sophisticated eco-elite will ‘manage’ the money behind high walls and higher prices, while the rest through the fortune of open borders, will be free to walk to the cheap industrial labour markets for a job.


        • Vince says:

          The first things President Trump did as president was to open up more access to oil and gas in the US, and pull the US out of the Paris agreement. US workers can’t compete with the developing countries on price, but labor prices are only one part of the total cost of a good. Energy is a big part too. The US now has lower energy prices than most developed nations, and companies that are heavily dependent on energy need to move here in order to compete.

          I knew I didn’t want Hillary, and thought Trump would be pretty good, but when I saw how completely he understands the levers, and that he is really going to get jobs back in the US, that’s when I knew we were really going to MAGA.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. T. says:

      Yes, emulate President Trump and not Barry Obama.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bulldog84 says:

    I’m beginning to understand the past shady connections between Canadian entities and the Clinton Foundation.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Craig Austin says:

    It’s Justin”s first full time, big boy job, and he is having some trouble. When he was a drama teacher, on the 2 days a week he worked, the elementary students (and their moms) groveled for his attention and told him he was as funny and smart, as he was handsome.


    • Peppurr says:

      Yes and before that he tried boxing which went nowhere. It wasn’t until his father died and he did the Eulogy that he grabbed the attention of the liberal back room boys and here we are today.


  4. Scott Lyddon says:

    Is this the same USMC that critics said was merely NAFTA renamed?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Unklemunky says:

    Think about the slowdown in China? Since China is step one in the supply chain, now that their access to US has been throttled back, they are left to deal directly with Trump Administration. China no likey. Free trade starts first with fair trade. When we all compete on a level playing field innovation occurs. When we rig the game, stagnation occurs. The game riggers are gonna have to get new jobs.

    Liked by 5 people

    • matthewpmusson says:

      Business planners can deal with anything but uncertainty. And, until Canada has a signed trade agreement with the USA businesses do not know what to expecy

      Liked by 1 person

    • Can we say Kock Brothers and Rothschild are in the dumps? LOL!!!

      (NOTE: just wanted the question to be rhetorical in nature)…

      Guess there is going to be a lot of cauterwailing in the financial section by the scribes are have blinder on???????


      Liked by 3 people

      • Orville R. Bacher says:

        Canada would have been far better off to have negotiated a Bi-lateral agreement with the United States. Something akin to the Auto Pact. By naively partnering with Mexico, Trudeau got dumped at the alter.
        “Never send a boy to do a man’s job”. My apologies to strong women who could have done the job too.
        “Trudeau, the boy wonder, has let his handlers get the Montreal Mafia a bit too close to the PMO.” He is wandering around now with a full diaper, claiming, “Stench? what Stench?”

        Liked by 5 people

      • Mr. T. says:

        Koch Brothers are making money. The trouble with many billionaires is that because they have that kind of money, they think they have the right to control our lives, as well as to dictate national policies. Same goes for Soros and Zuckerbutt. Wealthy corporations act the same way, and spend a lot of money with the lobbyists in D.C., as well as shoving lots of cash into the pockets of swamp creature politicians. Maybe some year, on a galaxy far, far away, laws will be passed banning all lobbyists and large donations from corporations and wealthy individuals.

        As for the Rothschilds, they are always going to make lots of money, as much of their money is spread all around the world. It’s very old, old, old and I do mean, old money that has been working for them for centuries. They don’t take sides either. Fighting a war? They’ll be happy to finance both sides of the conflict so long as they can make money from it.

        Liked by 1 person

    • China was always the ultimate target of the USMCA, as well as every other trade agreement POTUS has made. China has made all these deals around the world for raw materials to feed into their deep, but narrow manufacturing engine. Now these deals are becoming worth alot less than they were before.

      POTUS Trump will be remembered for many things, but one of the things the ‘history’ will likely not give him credit for is the Trump Doctrine in foreign affairs: (1) Hold causal agents accountable for the actions of their proxies and (2) the use of access to the US consumer market to negotiate all areas of foreign relations.


  6. namberak says:

    One tenth of one percent could statistically be considered noise in the data. It may have had no growth at all or perhaps even contracted a bit.

    Liked by 5 people

    • You’ve pointed out something I’ve noticed before. I see all of these economic statistics that appear to have a very high level of precision.

      My favorite recent one was the supposed effect of GDP as a result of the government shutdown.

      The notion that government (or other) economists have econometric tools that can accurately measure GDP in the tenth-of-a-percent range is, to my mind, quite dubious.

      Liked by 4 people

  7. rmramerica says:

    What’s even more glaring, the Dow broke 4,300 points in December. Still – the 4th Qt. U.S. GDP growth rate was 2.6%, the year 2.9% and real 3.1%. Canada has very serious structural problems caused by their “Brokered” (liberal, socialist, government directed) economy. Now that it’s over will they migrate hear?


  8. LafnH20 says:

    If the real numbers are ever “Leaked”…

    I’m guessing the latter..


    Liked by 1 person

  9. TheLastDemocrat says:

    Justin is not dumb or foolish. He has been a spokesmodel for the CoC and China alliance enjoying the NAFTA loophole. The SJW stuff is to pacify the electorate, who are eager to avoid looking at the man behind the curtain.

    I am sure right now they are looking for another horse to bet on.

    If Trump does not get re-election, a lot would swing back in place toot sweet.

    Even if not “legal.”

    Many have been saying that the Dems have already positioned a late-entry front-runner. I would expect the same process in Canada.


    • He’s the Emmanuel Macron of Canada and a ‘populist’ revolt is already taking place.


    • Orville R. Bacher says:

      “Justin is not dumb or foolish.” Hmmmm….
      At best, Trudeau Jr. is the front man of the band that is being managed from the back rooms. The real Trudeau is now plain for all to see as he maliciously attacks the integrity of an honorable Native Woman who wouldn’t do dirty deeds for the Montreal Mafia.

      Liked by 2 people

    • John says:

      Im thinking any late entry Dem will be Michelle. She has the gravitas to unite the socialist masses and appease the left of center.


      • Sandy says:

        Yes, I agree.
        And the rage of the left to any remark about her from PT will bring out the worst in them.
        Just remind everyone of her cafeteria menu.
        She will lose the young on that alone.


  10. Doug Amos says:

    While the exterior picture is dire, the inner is even worse. There was no planning and no preparation for the immigration influx. Housing is overwhelmed; the infrastructure is collapsing but most of all, healthcare already has. Wait times are unbelievable and staffs can no longer cope. Meanwhile, the aboriginals and environmentalists block everything and Trudeau clings to his carbon tax that has even less substance than him. Denial is everywhere; Freeland was named Canadian Newswoman of the year for defeating President Trump in the NAFTA negotiations and Trudeau continues to add to the billions already donated to The Clinton Foundation.


    • Orville R. Bacher says:

      They are desperately trying to fill the stadiums for the Clinton Grifter Tour. Pathetic and Poetic at the same time.


  11. Duke Magoo says:

    What are you talking about. I saw this coming from the moment the man/child was elected by vacuous lefties in Eastern Canada. The tip off was his famous quote …

    “and the budget will balance itself.”

    Can you imagine such a stupid person could be Prime Minister of this once lovely productive nation?

    Imagine no longer … it is real and it is spectacularly insane.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. billkeevers says:

    Proof of Canadian worker’s ability to originally produce time products is manifest in the wildly popular cable tv show “How It’s Made”. Canadian workers are bursting with pride to show how they do it, the same as American wokers. It is political corruption with crony capitalism that shames these proud people. Let the media get out of the way from the Canadian people themselves applying the political corrective.


  13. flatlandgoober says:

    Socialists take over a prosperous nation. You’ll never believe what happens next.


  14. TomA says:

    First comes the pain, then comes the awakening, then comes the shift toward populism and pragmatic voting, then comes new political leadership, and then finally . . . they start the long road back to redemption of their economy. But it’s going to be a long winter before Spring arrives. Like the Venezuelans before Chavez, Canadians came to believe in the free lunch because it beats working for a living.


  15. Rose says:

    Justine’s claim to fame, he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and he’s had two jobs-part time drama teacher and snow board trainer. He’s against Canada’s natural resource sector, like most liberals he lives in the sixties and demonizes our industries whilst getting donations from the rich elites.


  16. Robster says:

    Sorry, I wouldn’t describe the US economy as skyrocketing, IMHO, even if we achieved 3.1% without massive government spending and money printing.


  17. sDee says:

    The paid pundits scratch their heads while standing on one foot, just to avoid talking about President Donald Trump and America First.

    “Main Street is Outperforming Wall Street”


  18. Emil says:

    And Justin is embroiled in a personal scandal. Buh bye booby.


  19. sucesfuloser says:

    I don’t know if Canada can make products again because I’m not convinced, they ever had. I’ve lived in Canada for the past 20yrs. I made money off Canadian’s protectionist attitude of which assembling products for other nations is only a semiotic sign of a Canadian behavioral pattern.

    Before global companies insisted to equalize their prices worldwide, I could buy TVs in NY and double my money in Canada; this also applied to rigid insulation and generators during ice storms and cell phones when they first came out; could pick them up in New York for $3,500 and sell them in Canada for $5,500 Canadian. I have seen it with many products; it wasn’t just dairy and lumber; (Three mills in my area of the Catskill had to close because Canadian companies would buy the trees and leave only the tops and clean up, rush back to Canadian mills cut it into lumber, then sell it back to us.) They did the same thing with booze during prohibition.

    Canadian customs place significant import duties on most new American products to set up their own competition in that very market. An unfair practice because new items have expensive development costs and most of them must create their own new market, before showing profit.

    By putting tariffs on America products they didn’t produce, then rushing to duplicate them, which ignores the product’s original overhead. -It’s like stealing intellectual property rights.- I have watched Canadian clothing designers rip off American designers and put out the same thing under their label.

    They do it with their arts and talent too. They come to America, rape what they can, put us down, then run back to the safety of their mother’s womb. The extent of their intelligence is to give us an addendum on their ‘Trade Agreement’ demanding non-gender bathrooms; which was our dumb Marxist thought in the first place. It is nice to see the pirates get knocked down a peg or two.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Brian Backes says:

    0.1 percent? Not 0.01 or negative 0.1?

    My gut tells me that the underlying data may support a lower (or negative) number. But that may be politically incorrect.


  21. thegoosefish says:

    Boom! CTH again sniffs out what others can’t find or choose not to. Time for another donation! I would encourage others to do so also, because this is analysis you aren’t going to find elsewhere.


  22. Bendix says:

    “Over the past three decades both Canada and Mexico structured key parts of their independent trade agreements to take advantage of their unique access to the U.S. market.”

    Mexico has been taking advantage of unique access much longer than that.
    That’s where the “Dreamers” came from, and we are supposed to reward them.
    And “birthright citizenship” is a bigger and worse loophole than anything in NAFTA.


  23. maggie0987 says:

    I like to think that this, not Turdeau’s government, is what exemplifies average Canadians –


  24. Davey says:

    Unfortunately, even Canadian Conservatives don’t have the balls to stand up to the leftists and environmentalists here. They don’t have the courage to make the hard decisions and take the heat.


  25. OverWatch says:

    It is interesting to think that DJT could end up being the reason why Canada has a MCGA moment…If they can get this word out to the masses, an end run around their media, the environmentalists and leftist. Imagine what it would do for their economy to invest in energy and manufacturing product. They would become another north american powerhouse.


  26. Ciceronius says:

    The people of Canada thought they were voting for a young Pierre; what they got was Margaret’s son.


  27. OldSaltUSNR says:

    “Here’s the proverbial $64,000 question: Can Canada re-engineer their economy and actually begin to “make” products again, not just simply “assemble” foreign products from other nations?”

    Can’t fix the problem if they can’t accurately identify the cause: S-O-C-I-A-L-I-S-M.
    It’s failed everywhere it’s been tried.

    Try this approach: First, start teaching Adam Smith in Canadian schools instead of Karl Marx.
    Then, replace their parliament with FREEDOM loving Canadian patriots, instead of Socialists, to roll back the 10,001 Socialist laws and taxes robbing Canadians of their freedoms and enterprise.

    Maybe the USA can send Peace Corps volunteers to show them how it’s done, except most of our Peace Corps kiddies come from the finest Marxist US Universities, and wouldn’t know Adam Smith from Anna Nicole Smith.


  28. bpk1300 says:

    one of the best explanation of the SNC Lav and the Prime Minister


  29. Elle says:

    Soooo….are you saying that this is a false statement? “The Canadian Q4 GDP growth isn’t one percent, it’s one-tenth of one percent: 0.1%”

    Cause if that is true, you are embarrassing yourself.


  30. Lee says:

    going to get worse. Tourism is going to take a hit as Americans start staying away due to the federal government’s anti-american actions, the CBC billboards doing anti=Trump propaganda is
    the latest act of stupidity. Venezuela North, You Americans better start wall plans for your northern border now.

    Liked by 1 person

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