Morneau To Address Competitiveness In Fall Economic Update

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he plans to address the growing concerns of Canada’s business leaders about competitiveness in the fall economic update he will deliver on Wednesday of this week.

A growing chorus of business leaders throughout Canada are raising concerns about this country’s ability to compete and attract business investment vis-à-vis the United States, where President Donald Trump has slashed corporate tax rates.

"It is the case that there is investment going on in this country, but we can’t be complacent," Morneau said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg.

The finance minister pointed to the $40-billion LNG Canada megaproject, which was recently given the green light by Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) as an example of continued investments in this country. "Clearly, there is capital flowing to Canada," he said.

Business leaders have been pressuring Ottawa all year to make Canada a more attractive place to invest and do business.

"I’ve been out talking to Canadian businesses and Canadians about how we can ensure that investments continue," said Morneau. "I’ve certainly heard from people that some of the decisions that the U.S. took in terms of their tax changes are influencing investment decisions. So we’re taking those considerations into account as we craft our fall economic statement."

The new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement is seen as a win for many industries and businesses across Canada, including the automotive sector. However, it has not directly addressed Canada’s competitiveness in terms of taxation.