AmCham Canada Launches New Semi-Annual Survey of U.S. Business Confidence in Canada

Monday, September 25, 2017

Ottawa – September 25, 2017. The American Chamber of Commerce in Canada (AmCham Canada) today released the findings of its first semi-annual survey of U.S. business confidence in Canada. The AmCham Canada-Nanos Research U.S. Business Confidence Survey, Presented by PNC Bank, provides a semi-annual measure of the confidence of U.S.- owned businesses operating in Canada seeking to assess: future trends in employment; perceptions of the economic climate; the business environment for U.S. owned businesses in Canada, and the commercial relationship between Canada and the U.S.

According to AmCham Canada Chairman Rick Tachuk this first landmark survey will be key to understanding the on-going priorities and concerns of U.S. businesses operating in Canada. “U.S. investment is vital to Canada’s economic growth and prosperity and this new survey provides valuable insights on the views, concerns and priorities for sustained U.S. investment. Our goal for this research is to help Canadian governments understand the priorities for U.S. investors and to enable policy makers to create the economic and regulatory conditions necessary to attract and retain U.S. investment.”

In this inaugural survey the biggest concerns held by participating U.S. businesses relate to changes to NAFTA and potential trade loss with the U.S. Participants say the Government of Canada should do more to provide tax relief or tax breaks to improve Canada’s business environment.

“U.S. businesses operating in Canada are clearly optimistic about the economy and their future prospects,” said David Olsen, regional president and principal officer, PNC Bank Canada. “These findings illustrate the opportunities available to all companies considering operations within Canada.”

Overall, participating U.S. businesses in Canada have a positive outlook on Canada’s business environment, believing the Canadian economy will become stronger in the next six months and that its moving in the right direction, as well as predicting an increase in sales in Canada for their organizations.

Survey Highlights

  • Nearly half of participating U.S. businesses expect the number of employees at their firm to remain the same over the next six months - Asked if they expect the number of people their firm employees to increase, remain the same or decrease in the next six months, 49 per cent of participating U.S. businesses said they expect it will remain the same, while 41 per cent expect it to increase. Nine per cent expect it to decrease over the next six months, while two per cent are unsure.
     
  • More than half of participating U.S. businesses describe Canada’s current business investment environment as positive – Just over half of participating U.S. businesses (54%) describe today’s environment for their business to invest in Canada as positive, while 27 per cent describe it as neutral. Fourteen per cent describe it as negative, while five per cent are unsure.
     
  • Almost half of participating U.S. businesses believe the Canadian economy will become stronger over the next six months – Nearly half of participating U.S. businesses (49%) think the Canadian economy will become stronger in the next six months, while 24 per cent think there will be no change. Fourteen per cent think it will become weaker over the next six months, while 14 per cent are unsure.
     
  • Nearly six in ten participating U.S. businesses report that sales in Canada for their organization have increased in the past six months – Just under six in ten participating U.S. businesses (59%) report that sales in Canada for their organization have increased in the past six months, while 29 per cent report they have stayed the same, and 10 per cent say they have decreased. Two per cent are unsure.
     
  • More than half of participating U.S. businesses expect sales in Canada for their organization to increase the next six months - Asked if they expect sales in Canada for their organization to increase, remain the same or decrease in the next six months, 54 per cent of participating U.S. businesses said they expect they will increase. Thirty-four per cent say they expect sales will stay the same, while 10 per cent expect sales in Canada will decrease and two per cent are unsure.
     
  • Over four in ten participating U.S. businesses think the Canadian economy is moving in the right direction - Asked if they think the Canadian economy is moving in the right or wrong direction, 46 per cent of participating U.S. businesses say it’s moving in the right direction, while 25 per cent say the wrong direction. Twenty-nine per cent are unsure.
     
  • Participating U.S. businesses say the Government of Canada should provide tax breaks and reduce regulations to create a more positive business environment in Canada – In terms of what they would like to see the Canadian government do to create a more positive business environment in Canada, 15 per cent of participating U.S. businesses mentioned providing tax relief/tax, followed by breaks reducing national/provincial regulations and red tape (11%), and cooperate/harmonize tax structure with the U.S. (nine per cent). Also mentioned was open/fair competition and opportunities, providing subsidies/incentives to keep jobs in Canada, and resolving trade uncertainty/promote NAFTA (eight per cent respectively).
     
  • More than one in three participating U.S. businesses say potential changes to NAFTA and loss of free trade with the U.S. are their biggest concerns regarding the Canada-U.S. commercial relationship - Thirty-eight per cent of participating U.S. businesses mentioned potential changes to NAFTA/loss of free trade with the U.S. as their biggest concerns regarding the Canada-United States commercial relationship, followed by President Trump/the current administration (19%), and Buy American/protectionism (11%). Also mentioned was the Canada de minimis threshold/border tax (eight per cent), the exchange rate (six per cent), no concerns (six per cent), and the instability of U.S. business support programs (four per cent).

The findings presented in this initial survey are based on the compiled views of 59 U.S. businesses operating in Canada, collected in an online survey between March 15th and July 19th, 2017. Readers should note that the research is representative of the participants and should not be projected to any population, elite or general. The 59 participating business have an estimated $906.5B in global revenue. The data presented in this research is part of a joint project by AmCham Canada and Nanos Research, presented by PNC Bank.

AmCham Canada-Nanos Research U.S. Business Confidence Survey PDF
 

For more information contact:

Nik Nanos FMRIA
Chairman, Nanos Research Group
Ottawa (613) 234-4666 ext. 237 Washington DC (202) 697-9924
nnanos@nanosresearch.com

Rick Tachuk
Chairman, AmCham Canada
Ottawa (613) 293-5250
rtachuk@amchamcanada.ca

David P. Olsen
Regional President and Principal Officer
PNC Bank Canada
Toronto (416) 361-6931
David.olsen@pnc.com

About AmCham Canada

The American Chamber of Commerce in Canada (AmCham Canada) is a private, non-profit, membership organization that promotes the two-way flow of trade, goods, services and investment between Canada and the United States. AmCham Canada, with seven chapters located throughout Canada, is committed to promoting trade opportunities, advancing economic growth, and facilitating the mobility of people, goods and services across the longest undefended border in the world. AmCham Canada continually strives to promote and foster a positive climate for commerce, trade and investment between the United States and Canada, as well as positive working environment among the business people and professional who facilitate and strengthen economic ties between the two countries.

About Nanos Research

Nanos is one of North America’s most trusted research and strategy organizations. Our team of professionals is regularly called upon by senior executives to deliver superior intelligence and market advantage whether it be helping to chart a path forward, managing a reputation or brand risk or understanding the trends that drive success. Services range from traditional telephone surveys, through to elite in-depth interviews, online research and focus groups. Nanos clients range from Fortune 500 companies through to leading advocacy groups interested in understanding and shaping the public landscape. Whether it is understanding your brand or reputation, customer needs and satisfaction, engaging employees or testing new ads or products, Nanos provides insight you can trust.

About PNC Bank

PNC offers a wide range of services for customers, from individuals and small businesses, to corporations and government entities, no matter how simple or complicated their needs PNC is sure to have the products, knowledge and resources necessary for financial success. PNC competes to win in the middle market, where they are one of the leading credit providers to middle market companies across the U.S. PNC is in the top five syndicators of middle market loan transactions for each of the last five years. Underpinning their success at building deep and lasting relationships with middle market clients is a breadth of capabilities--including extensive treasury management, capital markets and international banking services--many of which have been tailored specifically for the middle market audience.

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