CME urges political parties to act on increasing manufacturers competitiveness

1 out of 3 Canadian families rely on the manufacturing sector

OTTAWA (September 11, 2019) — As political parties officially begin their campaign today, manufacturers are urging candidates to make Canada’s business competitiveness a key priority. “The manufacturing sector is the engine of the Canadian economy generating more than 10 per cent of the GDP and generating jobs in communities across the country. In fact, in every community across Canada, the manufacturing supply chain contributes to nearly 4.75 million total jobs.” said Dennis Darby, President & CEO. “Our own survey shows that 90 per cent of Canadians recognize the importance of the manufacturing sector for the Canadian economy.”

“Unfortunately, Canada’s business conditions are hindering the sector’s growth.  Based on a 2018 survey of the industry, more than half of manufacturers feel that the federal government is not investing enough to help build and grow a strong manufacturing sector in Canada.

“Because of unfavorable conditions, Canadian businesses cannot invest enough in their own success. We are also failing to attract international investments in Canadian manufacturing. As a result, Canada’s productivity growth is lagging,” added Darby.

Over the last 15 years, labour productivity in Canadian manufacturing has increased by about 20 per cent. In comparison, productivity in the US has grown by nearly 50 per cent, and it has more than doubled in locations like South Korea, Taiwan and Eastern Europe. In fact, since 2002 Canada has the poorest record in manufacturing productivity growth of any country in the G-7, save Italy.

CME recently released a list of 10 recommendation to accelerate the growth of Canada’s manufacturing sector and boost the economy.  Manufacturers encourage political parties to consider three solutions to solve Canada’s business competitiveness challenges:

  1. Conduct comprehensive tax reform to reduce the tax burden and ensure Canada’s tax system is focused on investment, exports, and productivity.
  2. Work with provinces and territories to reduce the overall regulatory burden and improve certainty and clarity of regulatory practices.
  3. Complete a comprehensive internal trade agreement that eliminates all internal barriers to the movement of goods and people.

“A strong and vibrant manufacturing sector means a prosperous Canada,” said Darby. “We hope candidates will remember the 1 out 3 Canadian families who rely on the manufacturing


Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) advocates for and represents 2,500 leading manufacturers that operate across Canada. Manufacturing moves Canada and is the engine of the economy. Canadian manufacturers collectively employ 1.7 million Canadians and is responsible for two-thirds of Canada’s export sales. The sector is growing rapidly. In 2018, the sector reached a new all-time high of $685 billion in sales. CME advocates policies that will allow Canadian manufacturers to compete effectively in the global economy.


Stefi Proulx
Director of Communications
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
C:  613-292-6070 | | @CME_MEC