Chang-Tai Hsieh, Nicholas Li, Ralph Ossa, Mu-Jeung Yang, 26 March 2017

Trade economists typically believe that in addition to lower prices for imported goods, trade liberalisation also brings import variety and domestic productivity gains. This column accounts for these ‘new’ gains in a careful reconsideration of the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement. Although the agreement did see improvements in Canadian income associated with import variety and domestic productivity, these were far outweighed by the welfare loss associated with the reduction in domestic variety. Nonetheless, Canadian welfare did improve overall when one takes into account the ‘traditional’ gains associated with lower import prices.

Holger Breinlich, 10 March 2016

Given the increasing number of regional trade agreements, economists have been estimating their effects on a wide range of outcomes. This column looks at stock market reactions to the implementation of the Canada-US free trade agreement to evaluate its effects on firms’ profits. Firm profits seem to be hurt by lower tariffs, but increase with cheaper access to intermediates and – for large firms – better access to the US market. The author estimates that CUSFTA increased the yearly profits of Canadian manufacturing by 1.2%.

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