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A Canadian trading company : an analysis of the potential benefits of transferring a Japanese-style export promotion and marketing concept to the Canadian economic environment Stringer, Anne Marie


This paper is an attempt to look at the possibilities behind the federal government of Canada's proposal to create a new agency in the area of industrial export trade. According to the premises set down by the Government in its April 1980, Throne Speech, the initiative is primarily aimed at supporting small and medium-sized businesses in their efforts to penetrate foreign markets. It is natural for a government concerned with increasing competition abroad and rising unemployment in the industrial sector at home to start worrying about where industrial employment and overseas industrial markets are going to come from in the future. The wording of the Throne Speech and the policy studies undertaken prior to April 1980, regarding a potential national trading company seem to indicate that the Government had had the Japanese example of the trading house structure very much in mind, when closer study of such an enterprise was proposed, given Japan's thriving industrial sector and its successful export achievements. In the aftermath of the Throne Speech a Special Committee of the House of Commons was created in June of 1980 to further study the question of a future "National Trading Corporation." The Committee came down with its fourth and final report, Canada's Trading Challenge, in June of 1981, in which its basic recommendation after a year of deliberations was that "the federal government sponsor the development of a major Canadian trading corporation." This final conclusion by the Committee stands in direct contrast to evidence presented by witnesses before the Committee, and it seems to be an opinion reached by the Committee majority based on material and opinions obtained in addition to the briefs and the evidence gathered during the Committee's public hearings.

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