Canadian business owners have their heads in the sand when it comes to NAFTA, finds a BDO Canada poll.

Read: Small business sentiment improves in November

Two-thirds (66%) of poll respondents admit to having no plan for a failed NAFTA renegotiation.

Yet, 86% believe President Donald Trump will exit NAFTA or attempt to negotiate unfairly in favour of U.S. interests. Seventy-five percent expect how NAFTA ends up will impact their business decision-making, regardless of their size or location.

Read: What nixing NAFTA would mean for markets

The poll finds business owners are most concerned that negotiations could lead to unfair trade terms for Canada or Mexico. They’re also concerned NAFTA could be terminated, resulting in the imposition of more duties and regulations, price uncertainty and an adverse impact on business and profitability.

The top five issues that business owners want addressed in NAFTA talks are:

  • cross-border movement of professionals (20%);
  • fairer labour standards across all three countries (20%);
  • duty-free threshold (18%);
  • environmental provisions (15%); and
  • procurement (7%).

To mitigate the impact of a renegotiated trade deal, nearly all business owners polled (92%) say Canada should be looking to strengthen trade partnerships with other countries, particularly Europe and Asia.

Download the poll.

About the poll: Conducted by BDO Canada, the survey was fielded online among 245 business leaders, from Sept. 21 to Oct. 30, 2017.

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