Contributors:

Patrick Sullivan

We’re experiencing a busy and turbulent time in global affairs and international trade. News stories focus on the status of immigration and international trade, often as “breaking news.” Canadian exports and tariffs might not be a daily thought for most, but with the increasing discussions on NAFTA and international trade, they may be a more common topic of conversation at work and home. Country leaders are making decisions profoundly impacting export/import businesses and consumers. The price of cars made in the US could rise, our grocery bills may increase and gas could see more price fluctuations over the coming months. The Chamber will continue to monitor these discussions and update our members as needed.

I am part of the Canadian Global Cities Council, a coalition of Presidents and CEOs of the eight largest urban regional Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade in Canada: Brampton, Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg. Representing 52 per cent of Canada’s GDP and more than half of the country’s population, CGCC collaborates on international and domestic issues impacting our regions’ competitiveness. In January 2018, together with 11 American Chambers and eight Mexican Chambers, we met in Montreal to ask their respective governments of the three member-states to renew NAFTA, modernize it and maintain open access to the American market.

International trade is not just a “Canada” issue. It affects each province and territory. When you think about Nova Scotian exports, I’m sure seafood, tires and maybe Christmas trees come to mind. You may be surprised to know that our list of exports is long and varied, including services like marketing, advertising, data metrics and financial analysis. This means many Halifax-based businesses will see the effects of trade wars.

Many of our board members export their services and goods globally. Saeed El-Darahali, Founder and President of SimplyCast, has clients in more than 175 countries. Lori Barton, Principal at Beaumont Advisors Limited, could do work for any global investor that allocates to hedge funds, private equity funds, long only mandates and managed accounts and Faten Alshazly, Principal and Chief Creative Officer at WeUsThem, talks to customers of clients in 138 countries, and works with clients in every continent, save Antarctica.

We are lucky in Nova Scotia to have so many natural resources to export, and in Halifax our people are one (of them). Services and the export dollars they provide globally come from their ideas, their creativity and their hard-work. We have and will continue to support our members who export as a part of their business. Keeping their businesses here in Halifax furthers economic growth for our city. Exporting is especially important in a small province like Nova Scotia and despite the current international challenges, we at the Chamber hope to see more and more companies turning to exporting.

This month’s issue will delve further into international trade, our advocacy work with our members and how to embrace diversity and inclusion in your workplace. If your business is facing exporting issues, please let us help you find the right person to talk to. We’re in your corner and we’re in this together.

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