Canada Pauses Reporting Trade Data, Blames US Shutdown

Update: It turns out, just as we suspected, that Canada is entirely reliant on the US for its trade data (and vice versa). As Canadian Business reports, each country has been using the other’s import data to produce its export statistics since 1990.

U.S. imports from Canada reported to U.S. Customs and Border Protection are compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau and sent to Statistics Canada to be used as statistics for Canada’s exports to the United States.

“The sharing of import data, which is generally preferred because of the greater scrutiny import shipments are subject to by customs agencies, helps to ensure accurate and coherent bilateral trade statistics, while reducing the administrative burden on exporting companies,” Statistics Canada said in a statement Thursday.

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Statistics Canada said today the release of their monthly trade statistics will be delayed indefinitely due to the current shutdown of the U.S. government.

Statistics Canada:

"Trade statistics without Canada’s exports to the United States have limited use as a current economic indicator, as these exports represent approximately 75% of Canada’s total exports."

The U.S. shutdown "has a direct impact on Statistics Canada’s ability to compile, produce and publish Canadian international merchandise trade data, as Statistics Canada will not receive data on Canada’s exports to the United States for the duration of the shutdown"

Publication of December 2018 trade data won’t occur as scheduled on Feb. 5, 2019.

The agency says it will delay the release of trade statistics "until the USCB resumes normal operations and a new joint release date is negotiated with the USCB as per the data exchange agreement"

The question is - why should a US shutdown affect Statistics Canada's ability to track its own imports and exports? Is there some 'negotiated' agreement between the trade partners to ensure that the data is manipulated just right (so as to avoid the glaring errors that are so evident between China and Hong Kong for instance).

Historically they can't quite agree...