I’m sure any American city along the U.S. – Canadian border will tell you that over the past several years Canadian shoppers have crossed the border in the millions to take advantage of a much stronger Canadian dollar, a declining U.S. dollar, lower consumer product pricing and an increase in the dollar allowance on goods brought back to Canada after a day or over night shopping trip.
It could be the financial rewards enjoyed by Buffalo/Niagara Falls area border businesses could be coming to an end. It will be interesting to see their reaction and that of those few but very loud Western New Yorkers who have complained about increased traffic, parking lots congested with Canadian licensed cars, and Canadian shoppers competing with them for goods and services. I fear those people who dislike the crowds and competition just might get their wish. The Canadian shopper could very well disappear.
Last night on CBC-TV Toronto there was a news story that focused the problems faced by Canadian consumers as being one of extremely high tariffs on imported goods and the nation’s high cost of transportation due to Canada’s immense size and small population. There was a reference to Chinese made hockey pants. Hockey is Canada’s national sport and its enthusiasts are griping that the U.S. tariff on this imported piece of hockey apparel was 2.7% while in Canada it was 18%. Also featured was a BWM that sold for $50,000 in the USA had a price of $80,000 in Canada.
Canada’s Senate completed a price study and released a report on the problem If I were a Canadian I’d also be very unhappy. I’m kind of torn on this issue. I support the Canadian consumer and their desire for lower prices. I also support my local businessmen and women who are making money servicing Canadian consumers.
This Friday night at 8:00PM (eastern time) you might want to watch the CBC-TV consumer program “Marketplace.” It will address this issue. This will be an interesting story to follow.