BUSINESS

Ending NAFTA Would Cost Up To 50,000 Canadian Jobs: Report

Cancelling the trade deal would shave a half percentage point off the country's GDP, report finds.

11/27/2017 09:29 EST | Updated 11/27/2017 11:21 EST
Chris Wattie / Reuters
Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo (left) addresses the media with Canada's foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland (centre), and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer at the close of the third round of NAFTA talks in Ottawa, Ont., Sept. 27, 2017.

OTTAWA — A new report concludes the end of the North American Free Trade Agreement would trim just over half a percentage point from Canada's economy.

It finds that the end of NAFTA would shave 0.55 per cent off Canada's GDP, push 25,000 to 50,000 Canadians from the workforce, and reduce exports by 2.8 per cent.

Watch: NAFTA talks hit wall as Canada, Mexico push back

The report comes from Dan Ciuriak, the former head of computer modeling for Canada's foreign-affairs ministry.

Now a private consultant, Ciuriak spent recent weeks analyzing the numbers for a report for the CD Howe think tank.

The damage predicted in his report is the equivalent of a noticeable economic downturn, albeit far less than the 2.5 per cent GDP loss he said he was expecting to find in an interview last month, as he began his work.

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Ciuriak said the damage would be almost completely offset if the original 1987 Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement were to survive the NAFTA.

Preserving the Canada-Mexico partnership in NAFTA would have only a very slight impact on the damage if the U.S. leaves, Ciuriak also found.

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