Even at the bottom of the oil-price correction in 2016, crude remained the largest positive contributor to Canada’s merchandise trade, generating a $33-billion surplus
The oil industry looms large in the Canadian economy and, in many ways, pays the rent in Canada. Yet many Canadians appear unaware of how critically important the oil industry is to the national economy, a fact often lost in the debate over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Canada is a trading nation. We owe our economic prosperity and relatively high per-capita income to trade — and crude oil dominates that trade.
In 2014, before the oil-price downturn, crude oil alone generated a $70-billion trade surplus for Canada — excluding smaller surpluses in refined petroleum products and natural gas — far outstripping any other export category (the closest is metals and minerals) and helping to offset large, chronic deficits in autos and parts, industrial machinery, electronic goods and consumer products.
Even at the bottom of the oil-price correction in 2016, crude oil remained the largest positive contributor to Canada’s merchandise trade, generating a $33-billion surplus.
In 2017, net oil exports increased again to $46 billion and will likely climb to over $50 billion this year, alongside the recent recovery in West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil prices to the $70 mark.
For the rest of this column: http://business.financialpost.com/opinion/like-it-or-not-crude-oil-is-the-biggest-reason-for-canadas-prosperity