Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

February 1995


Published in Great Plains Research 5:1 (February 1995). Copyright © 1995 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


The past decade has been a period of turmoil for the manufacturing sector in both the US. and Canada, and rural manufacturing firms in both countries have been subjected to substantial competitive pressures. The purpose of this study was to identify the firms that comprise the manufacturing sector in North Dakota and in the Provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and to identify their needs in order to increase economic activity in the region. Data came from a survey of 333 firms conducted in 1991. Overall, the findings indicate that the firms comprising the manufacturing sector in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are quite similar to their North Dakota counterparts. Many are relatively new, and most are relatively small. The Canadian firms have experienced less favorable recent trends in sales and employment growth. However, with substantial experience and widespread interest in international trade, combined with substantial excess capacity, the Canadian firms may be well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the US.-Canada Free Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement.