Canada relies less on U.S. for trade in 2010

* Canada relying less on U.S. as trade partner

* Trade with China tripled in 2001-2010 period

OTTAWA, April 7 (Reuters) – Canada relied less on the
United States last year as the main buyer of its exports and
sharply boosted its trade with China, Statistics Canada data
revealed on Thursday.

The agency’s annual review of merchandise trade suggested
the country’s exporters are diversifying their markets,
something policy makers have been urging them to take advantage
of fast-growing emerging economies where demand is stronger
than in the United States.

The United States still accounted for 74.9 percent of
Canada’s exports in 2010, but that was down from 87 percent in
2001.

Canada’s overall exports rose 9.5 percent last year. While
exports rose to the three top destinations — the United
States, the United Kingdom and China — the share of exports to
the United States fell while the other two countries’ share
tripled.

Canada’s export sector was hit very hard by the global
economic recession and has had difficulty recovering because of
a sharp appreciation of the Canadian dollar and tepid demand
from its southern neighbor.

Trade recovered somewhat in 2010 but remained below
pre-recession levels.

The Bank of Canada has repeatedly urged exporters not to
rely on the currency weakening or a rebound in U.S. spending,
but to seek new markets and invest in new technology to remain
competitive.
(Reporting by Louise Egan; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)

Canada relies less on U.S. for trade in 2010