The Canadian economy is about to be hit with a one-two punch at the hands of President Trump’s United States, and I’m not referring to a renegotiation of NAFTA, which the president said this week he would be “tweaking.” While opening NAFTA up to be picked apart and debated will prove challenging (and could still prove disastrous), what is guaranteed to harm us is Trump’s commitment to lower America’s corporate tax rate and undertake substantial regulatory reform. These two initiatives will put Canada at an extreme disadvantage in terms of investment. Astonishingly, the Canadian government is not preparing for these changes; instead, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pursuing policies that are essentially tying our economy’s shoelaces together before the race has even started.
Canada has spent the last decade positioning itself as the best place in the world to do business with the biggest changes coming into effect in 2012. It was in that year that the Conservative government lowered our corporate tax rate to 15 per cent (down from 28 per cent in 2006) and that the one-for-one rule came into effect. Recognizing that extreme regulatory burden on businesses was an impediment to growth and investment, the one-for-one rule provided that for every new regulation that imposed an administrative burden on business, one would have to be removed. Canada was the first country in the world to legislate such a rule.