Canada and Japan announced in February that they were formally studying the possibility of concluding a bilateral free trade agreement. In an email interview, Carin Holroyd, a political science professor at the University of Waterloo, discussed economic relations between Canada and Japan.
WPR: What is the current state of trade relations between Japan and Canada?
Carin Holroyd: Trade between Canada and Japan looks, in many ways, as it has for decades. Canada sells about $9 billion annually of primarily resource products -- coal, canola, lumber, copper, pulp and paper, aluminum, wheat, meat and fish -- to Japan. In return, Canada purchases approximately $13 billion of primarily motor vehicles and parts, nuclear reactors and parts, and consumer electronics. Japan was Canada's second-largest export market from 1973 until the mid-2000s. At that point, although the value of Canadian exports to Japan remained relatively constant, Canada began to sell more to both the United Kingdom and China.