Our Trade Relationship With Canada In 2 Charts and 200 Words

I know this happened a million years ago and was just meaningless idiocy, but just for the record, here is Canada’s trade balance with the United States in dairy products:

Yes, they protect their dairy market. So do we. In fact, we protect ours more, which is why Canada runs a persistent trade deficit with the US in dairy products.

As for the bigger picture, it’s true that the US runs a trade deficit in overall goods. But there’s one reason for that: oil. We could import our oil from anywhere, but we happen to import it from Canada. If you take that out of the picture, then once again it’s Canada that’s running a trade deficit with the US and the US that has the trade surplus:

And then, of course, there are services. Even if you include oil, our trade balance in goods and services with Canada was +$8.4 billion in 2017. So to summarize our trade relationship with Canada:

  • We run a trade surplus in dairy products.
  • We run a trade surplus in total goods and services.
  • We run a trade surplus in goods excluding oil.

It doesn’t matter very much if we run a trade surplus or deficit with Canada. But in every way that anyone should care about, we run a surplus. The only trade deficit worth mentioning is due to our inexhaustible appetite for oil. But that’s our problem, not Canada’s.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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