Québec exporters are already thinking about the post-crisis

Les exportateurs québécois pensent déjà à l’après-crise

Photo: Seth Wenig Associated Press
Even though the official statistics on the international trade or foreign investment likely to account for the magnitude of the crisis are not yet ready, it already has a good idea.

Hit by the health crisis today, companies accustomed to doing business with the United States must prepare now to not miss the re-launch of the exchanges, say their representatives.

Although still in the process of taking an accurate measure of the shock they experience and try to understand the rules of the assistance offered by the government, the main companies concerned will begin to address the question of the post-pandemic COVID-19 as soon as this week, said in a telephone interview with the Duty last week, the president and chief executive officer of the board of trade of metropolitan Montreal, Michel Leblanc. “It will have to be ready, because as soon as that trade barriers will start to be lower — in the United States or elsewhere in the world, it’s going to be a great call to replenish the stocks. “

It will be necessary to be able to relaunch as soon as the worst of the crisis will be passed, otherwise there is a risk that our competitors in the rest of Canada or abroad enjoy to replace us

— Véronique Proulx

 

There will be no time to lose, ” says Véronique Proulx, president and ceo of Quebec Manufacturers and Exporters, especially for large order-givers of the flagship sectors of the québec economy, like the aerospace industry, and transportation. “It will be necessary to be able to relaunch as soon as the worst of the crisis will be passed, otherwise there is a risk that our competitors in the rest of Canada or abroad enjoy to replace us. “

A shock that hurts

Even though the official statistics on the international trade or foreign investment likely to account for the magnitude of the crisis are not yet ready, it already has a good idea.

Although, on the contrary the transport of persons, the passage of goods is still, in principle, open to the border with the United States, it was reported already, two weeks ago, a decrease of one quarter of the volume of trucks entering Canada, and 92 % of air traffic between the two countries, ” says Michel Leblanc. As to investments, “everything is frozen,” he said. All companies are in protection mode of their liquidity “. “For a country which account for 70 % of our trade and 20 % of our GDP, it is very very bad. “

In fact, you see two parallel worlds, ” explains Véronique Proulx. On the one hand, sectors are essential, such as defence, continue their activities almost as if nothing had happened, while the other fell at the point of death. It happens that the companies that were able to continue to be hampered by their parent companies or their suppliers in the United States. What doesn’t help is that the nature of the new rules of governments in health matters, as well as emergency assistance, is not yet clear to everyone.

The late american

If the health situation is relatively under control in Quebec and in Canada, unfortunately, this is less true in the United States, observes Michel Leblanc. “The danger is to see the resumption of canadian leaded by a re-launch slower in the United States. “Also, he said, should not only be prepared to reinvest in the american market, but also any other market, including those with which Canada has signed new trade agreements, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

Meanwhile, it is necessary to learn to live with the pandemic COVID-19, said Véronique Proulx. “We can’t wait for the vaccine, or the end of any form of containment, to start to work again. “

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