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International Trade


Canada doesn’t just trade within its own borders between provinces and territories. Canada also trades with countries all over the world. When Canada trades goods with other countries, this is called international trade. If Canada brings in goods from another country to sell here, it is called an import. Bananas being brought to Canada from a warmer country to be sold in our grocery stores is an example of an import. If Canada sends goods to another country to be sold, it is called an export. When Canada sends canola oil to Europe to be sold in the grocery stores there, the canola oil is an example of an export.

An illustrated map of the world has a boat full of containers in the middle, with arrows showing that it travels to various countries around the world.

Canada trades with countries around the world to import and export items.

Improved Technology

Today it is a lot easier to trade goods across the ocean than it used to be. Unless the goods were going to the United States, they would have to withstand a several-week journey across the ocean to be sold in another country. As our technology and transport methods improved, we started to trade more and more with other countries. Now our technology is so good we can bring in fresh produce from almost anywhere in the world and have it still be fresh when it arrives here in Canada! 

Refrigerated shipping containers can be used to move fresh food on semi-trucks, trains, and ships.

Learn more about international trade and how it impacts a country’s specialized resources.

Best In The World

Trade has always been important to Canada. Because our nation is so large, we’ve always depended on trade to improve our lives by increasing what goods and resources are available to us. In the past, Canada had to depend on trading mostly with the United States because they are the closest nation to Canada. However, now that technology has improved, Canada can now trade with countries around the globe.

A large ship is parked at a port and loading shipping containers. There is a bridge and many buildings in the background.

Large ships arrive in ports to drop off or load shipping containers of items that are being imported or exported.

Today, Canada is the top producer of canola and of potash in the world! Our economy today relies on importing products we need and exporting products to countries that need ours.

Canada is the world’s leading exporter of dry peas, lentils, mustard seed, canola seed, canola oil, canola meal, canary seed, and oats!

Saskatchewan farmers produce a large amount of our country’s exports. The top markets for Saskatchewan agri-food exports in 2020 were the United States, China, Japan, India, and Mexico.

A large canola field is pictured in the foreground and a cloudy blue sky is featured above.

Saskatchewan is the second largest agri-food exporter in Canada! Leading exports come from canola seed, wheat, lentils, and canola oil.