by Katie Gibas, YNN
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Despite traffic from Canada to the U.S. being down because of a weak Canadian dollar, tourism is still at a record high, but what does a devalued Canadian currency mean for businesses who ship and manufacture between borders?
Western New York Foreign Trade Zone is based in the U.S., shipping mostly Canadian products throughout the states.
“We have trucks coming in every day and we have trucks going out everyday,” said Tim Palisano, WNY Foreign Trade Zone President. “Goods come in here and they give us orders and we ship all over the country.”
With the weakest Canadian dollar in more than a decade, they’ve noticed a change in the in their way their Canadian customers are doing business.
“Our Canadian customers actually have picked up a lot and a lot of it is because they sell a lot in U.S. stores, so they’ve shown growth and they’re collecting on an American dollar too,” said Palisano.
Even though the weak Canadian dollar has meant good business for Western New York Foreign Trade Zone, the news might not be as welcome for others.
“It’s been 10 years since the last time, but it’s only been May to October and all of a sudden, the world is upside down when it comes to this,” said Craig Turner, Momentum Public Affairs president. “It needs some, definitely opportunity and need for some creativity and maybe doing things differently. The business model doesn’t change overnight. You have purchasing agreements in place. You need to catch up to the trend of the Canadian dollar.”
For some companies, the devalued Canadian currency will mean a fundamental shift in how they do business.
“For years, there’s been great advantage for Canadian companies to import from the U.S. because of the value of the dollar. There was a buying opportunity in the U.S. and that’s changed now. Now you’re going to see U.S. companies looking more toward Canada for sources because of the value that they’re getting out of the dollar.”
For American manufacturers, the change may mean shifting more distributing outside of Canada.