How Canadian protests might impact Arizona

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Truckers protesting coronavirus mandates in Canada have impacted the U.S auto industry and other aspects of the economy, including trade. We asked Professor Sophal Ear, associate dean at the Thunderbird School of Global Management at ASU, about the impact of the protests here in Arizona.

On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the rarely-used Emergency Act to freeze protestor bank accounts, utilize federal police forces, and otherwise take action against the protests.

Ear said he believes the protests are “finally taking a turn,” and aren’t likely to cause lasting damage if they stop soon.

“We’ve already got all of these supply chain issues, microchips that aren’t available for new vehicles and so causing the substitute of used vehicles to become more and more expensive,” Ear said. “But because it’s only been a few weeks of this, as long as it stops now I don’t think it’ll be a dramatic impact.”

While at first glance it may seem odd to worry about the economic impact of Canada on a state nearly 2000 miles away, Arizona exports around $1.9 billion dollars to Canada each year, and imports another $2.2 billion, Ear said.

However, Arizona’s trade will likely not be particularly affected.

“Given that the immediate problem was on the border itself and in Ottowa, the capital city, hopefully, that won’t be significant,” Ear said. “Over time, the consequences of this will dissipate.”

According to Ear, this event highlights the interconnectedness of the United States and Canada on an economic level.

“That interdependence is incredibly important because Canada is our major trading partner,” Ear said. “We have such a relationship with Canada, and Canada with us, that it makes it really difficult when you cause a chokepoint like a bridge that allows so much economic activity to somehow be displaced by truckers.”

Professor Sophal Ear, associate dean at the Thunderbird School of Global Management at ASU

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