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Exporting From Canada to the U.S.: Strategies for Manufacturers

Exporting from Canada to the U.S.: Strategies for Manufacturers

The potential business benefits of exporting from Canada “south of the border” can be huge for small and medium-sized Canadian manufacturers and help prepare them for future expansion into overseas and emerging markets. The time is right. Are you ready to export into the U.S?


The time is now. Why export and expand from Canada into the U.S.?

Facing an economic slowdown at home, small and medium-sized Canadian businesses are actively looking to expand into new markets. The United States is a particularly appealing market to Canadians as it is the world’s largest economy. Americans also buy about three-quarters of Canada’s total exports—more than any other nation.

According to PLANT Magazine’s 2016 Manufacturers’ Outlook Report, which surveyed over 300 manufacturing executives throughout Canada, 37 percent of Canadian manufacturers plan to expand into the U.S. in 2016.


The top business reasons for Canadian manufacturers to export and expand into U.S. are compelling:

  • Surging American economy
  • Weak Canadian dollar
  • Geographic accessibility and cultural familiarity
  • Falling oil prices
  • A shift in industries such as automotive and aviation manufacturing
  • Availability of capital


The critical factors to consider when exporting from Canada.

Canadian manufacturers that have a U.S. growth strategy in place to meet accounting, tax planning, inventory, order fulfillment and other challenges will be best placed to succeed. Being informed and prepared can help save you time and money.


The main business challenges include:

  • Dollar fluctuation: Determining the impact on costs and revenue when selling in multi-currency
  • Labeling standards: Determining the country’s labeling or packaging requirements
  • Cross-border controls: Knowing what documentation is required
  • Launch costs: Costs associated for launching in a new market
  • Country of origin: Knowing the differing rules of origin under various national laws and international treaties
  • Financial risks: Collecting monies owed across international borders
  • Market research: Additional market research required for new markets and a concrete strategy
  • “Buy American” policies: Tariffs placed on products that are not U.S.-based goods
  • Taxation: Knowing how much tax to charge and the tax filing requirements


How to Prepare your Business for Expansion from Canada into the U.S.
There’s a lot that you can do to ensure your business is as prepared for and able to manage the processes around U.S. expansion.


Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) can help streamline and manage critical business operations, in the following ways:

  1. Integration across all business processes—ERP integrates all aspects of your business from the customer-facing front-end, through planning and scheduling, to the production and distribution of finished products. ERP solutions bring about efficiency, which is especially critical for businesses that are considering expanding their operations to the U.S.
  1. Automation around currency, tariffs and taxation—There are massive financial implications for many small and medium-sized businesses wanting to do business in the U.S. market: tax reporting and collection (federal, state, and local), online revenue, and tariff codes—all add multiple layers of complexity that ERP solutions can help manage and streamline.
  1. Increase overall productivity and performance—ERP solutions ensure cohesiveness and helps avoid duplication, discontinuity, and people working at cross-purposes—in different parts of the The cumulative positive effect when business processes integrate well is overall superior performance by the organization, and reduced costs associated with any new processes of entering into new markets.
  1. Quality reports and performance analysis—Business data from ERP solutions will help produce insightful financial and boardroom-ready reports, as well as help conduct analysis on the performance of your organization in different markets. Monitor costs and the impact of selling in multi-currency and new markets—translating your data into decision-making information.
  1. Complete Supply Chain integration—Country of Origin (COO) laws dictate that raw materials used in finished goods must not contain foreign substances over a certain percentage, or from certain countries (Lacey Act 2008). With complete ERP integration with your Supply Chain, you can help eliminate these or other legal operational risks that could potentially affect your business.

Canadian manufacturers that know how to mitigate risk associated with the common business challenges when looking to expand their business operations can gain a significant competitive advantage. How do you identify the best expansion strategy for you?

If you want to learn about top strategies for exporting from Canada to the U.S, download your complimentary eBook, EXPANDING TO THE U.S.: TOP STRATEGIES FOR EXPORT GROWTHA COMPLETE GUIDE FOR CANADIAN MANUFACTURERS, by filling in the form on this page.



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