The CANADA-USA Price Gap
Ottawa, February 6, 2013 – The Government of Canada should conduct a comprehensive review of Canadian tariffs, with the aim of reducing price discrepancies for certain products between Canada and the United States, a report by the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance recommends.
Titled The CANADA-USA Price Gap, the committee’s report sheds light on why large price gaps remain even when the Canadian dollar is at or above par. Even some automobiles made in Canada are priced significantly higher here than in the U.S.
“The study showed that there are many variables that contribute to the price of products. There is no one definitive explanation for the price discrepancies for products between Canada and the United States,” said Senator Joseph A. Day, the committee chair. "However, in spite of the complexity of the issue, the committee made four recommendations to narrow these price gaps.”
“Canadian consumers are feeling ripped off,” added Senator Larry Smith, the deputy chair. “When the Canadian dollar is at parity with the U.S. dollar, Canadian consumers notice that prices here are typically higher than in the United States. We hope this report will help Canadians understand the causes of these price discrepancies".
The committee heard from 53 witnesses, including government officials, consumer groups, retailers, manufacturers, importers, exporters, experts from the academic sector, accountants and independent economists during public hearings that took place over eight months, starting in the fall of 2011.
The committee hopes the report’s recommendations will be given strong consideration, acknowledging that any policy changes must consider the impact on domestic manufacturing.
To read the committee’s report and recommendations, or to learn more about the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance, go to http://senate-senat.ca/nffn-e.asp.
The Senate of Canada is on Twitter: @SenateCA, follow the committee using the hashtag #NFFN