Canada-EU trade, one year on: Canada's imports are rising faster than exports

When the Canadian government talks about trade diversification, the agreement it puts in the window is its wide-ranging trade deal with the European Union, which started to take hold one year ago this week.

But cutting a wide variety of tariffs — the way the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement did — is only the beginning. If businesses don't take advantage of it, hopes for meaningful economic growth may be dashed.

Early data suggest European businesses may have been faster to capitalize on CETA than Canadian ones.

The relative success of CETA could be measured in many ways, but let's zero in on a big one: the growth of Canadian exports to the European Union.

A scan of the monthly Statistics Canada data for the years immediately leading up to CETA's provisional application shows modest growth even before the deal's tariff reductions took effect on Sept. 21, 2017.

But when comparing monthly data for Oct. 2017-July 2018 (the most recent available) with data from the same months the year before CETA, there are periods when Canada actually exported less than it did before the deal.

Add those ten months of data together, and the overall growth compared to the same ten months from the year previous is less than one per cent...

This was excerpted from the 16 September 2018 edition of CBC News.