News Release

The Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce

Senate committee to examine Canada's competitiveness, future prosperity

February 15, 2018

Ottawa – The Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce plans to study the effects that competitive economic challenges may have on Canadian importers and exporters. The committee will also explore measures the Government can take to ensure Canadian businesses maintain their global competitiveness.

Numerous issues in North America and abroad have the potential to affect Canada’s importers and exporters — the businesses that drive economic activity. The competitiveness of Canadian businesses depends on their ability to identify and respond to these issues.

Canadian businesses face numerous challenges; taxation differentials, regulatory differentials, ensuring Canada has an appropriate workforce, attracting capital and the dramatic pace of innovation.

The committee’s goal will be to make recommendations to government about ways to identify opportunities, and to mitigate competitive challenges to Canadian businesses.

The committee plans to submit its final report by Friday, September 28, 2018.

Quick Facts

  • In 2016, the value of Canadian exports and imports of goods and services represented about 64% of the country’s gross domestic product, the second highest total among G7 countries.
  • Approximately three-quarters (76%) of Canadian exports went to the United States in 2016. The U.S. was the source of more than half (52%) of Canadian imports.
  • The United States was Canada’s top trade partner in 2016. It was the destination for $394.4 billion of Canada’s exports while Canadians imported $278.3 billion in American merchandise.
  • Canada had an overall trade deficit in 2016, exporting $516.9 billion in merchandise while importing $533.3 billion worth of goods.


“A competitive Canada has ensured the prosperity Canadians enjoy. To ensure prosperity moving forward we need to be aware of how trade, competitiveness, innovation and access to capital and a strong workforce are inextricably linked to prosperity.”

- Senator Doug Black, Q.C., Chair of the committee

“Canadian businesses have been nimble when it comes to adapting to new issues in the global marketplace. Our committee wants to provide them with a big-picture approach to the new business realities and offer the government innovative advice on how position Canada to take advantage of them.”

- Senator Carolyn Stewart Olsen, Deputy Chair of the committee

Associated Links

  • Read the proposed order of reference (Motion No. 287).
  • Follow the committee on social media using the hashtag #BANC.
  • Sign up for the Senate’s eNewsletter.


For more information, please contact:

Sonia Noreau
Public Relations Officer
Communications Directorate
Senate of Canada
613-614-1180 |