Analysts say that a US-China trade battle could boost the fortunes of Canadian retailers.
Experts believe that US President Donald Trump’s plan to impose import tariffs on up to US$60 billion of Chinese goods could help Canadian retailers.
The Retail Council of Canada says that the plan to raise the price of Chinese goods, such as electronics, sold in the US could prompt more Canadians to shop at home while the president of the Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters, Joy Nott, thinks higher prices for goods could also encourage more Americans to cross the border and shop in Canada.
She says Canadian products that are similar to Chinese goods could also be substituted by American buyers.
The Chinese government announced a $3 billion list of US goods for possible retaliation a day after President Trump outlined the $60 billion worth of tariffs on China.
A detailed list of products is expected to be developed in two weeks.
Further retaliation by China could open the door for an increase in Canadian exports to replace higher priced American goods, particularly in agriculture.
Yet Nott also makes the argument that such benefits could be offset by a negative impact on Canada if the economy of the US – its largest trading partner – is hurt by a trade dispute.
Likewise, CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld told The Canadian Press that a bigger problem would be an escalation of the dispute into a full blown trade war that causes a slowdown in global economic growth.
As a nation that depends on exports of commodities, he said that weaker demand could hurt the Canadian economy in the long term.