Canadians Eye Tariff Cuts; Could Hurt North Country

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The Canadian government has identified tariffs - taxes on imports - as a cause of high prices for many goods purchased in Canada.

A Canadian Senate report issued this week called for a "comprehensive review" of Canadian tariffs, which can drive the price of goods purchased in Canada 40 percent higher than the same items when purchased in the U.S.

"In the U.S. the tariff is 2, 3 percent. In Canada, it's 18 to 19 percent, so we're saying, why not change the tariffs so they're the same?" Canadian Senator Joseph Day told 7 News.

For years, the weak Canadian dollar was blamed for the price difference. However, the Canadian dollar is now worth as much as, or a little more, than its American counterpart - and Canadian prices are still much higher.

Should the government of Canada act to lower tariffs, it will hurt northern New York retailers. Canadian shoppers flock to stores in Ogdensburg, Massena and Watertown to buy things at a better price.

And the bigger the item, the bigger the difference.

 "A car manufactured in Canada sold in the United States for less than the same car sold for in the town it was manufactured in, in Canada," Day said.

Further reading:

- A CTV report on the Senate study

- A CBC investigation into Canadian prices


 

 

Friday, October 31, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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