Categories: AnalysisCanadian Press

Five Things to Watch for in the Canadian Business World

TORONTO — Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week:

Never-ending NAFTA: The seventh round of North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations commence in Mexico City on Monday, where fallout from the recently signed Trans-Pacific Partnership is likely to cause tension. Ottawa has said TPP is likely to curb U.S. imports into Canada by $3.3 billion, mainly in automotive products, a gap U.S. negotiators may seek to close in a renegotiated NAFTA deal.

Canada’s first feminist budget: Finance Minister Bill Morneau tables the federal budget on Tuesday, which will feature the economic success of women and gender equality as major themes. A briefing note prepared for Morneau estimates that closing the labour-market participation gap between women and men by half over 15 years would raise the country’s potential long-term economic growth by an average of 0.25 percentage points per year over that period.

Banks look to the black: BMO, Scotiabank and TD are all set to release first-quarter results this week. While analysts expect one-time writedowns due to a reduction of deferred tax assets south of the border, the broader picture for the banks looks sunnier thanks to U.S. tax reform and higher interest rates, although domestic mortgage demand and ongoing tensions over NAFTA could cloud the long-term outlook.

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Valeant earnings: Valeant Pharmaceuticals discusses fourth-quarter and year-end results on Wednesday. A U.S. District Court judge gave Canada’s largest publicly traded drug company preliminary approval in January for a $368-million settlement of lawsuits stemming from the unsuccessful attempted hostile takeover in 2014 of Botox maker Allergan Inc.

Have you checked the mail room? Bakery goods and grocery giant George Weston releases fourth-quarter and year-end results on Friday. The CEO of rival grocer Sobeys said earlier this month that George Weston and Loblaw Companies “should keep checking the mailroom” for upcoming legal action after they implicated Sobeys in an alleged industry-wide bread price-fixing scheme that goes “right to the heart of the trust” between Canadians and their grocers.

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