Media Advisory | Nov. 26, 2012

UBC experts for comment on U.S. fiscal cliff

University of British Columbia business, economics and politics experts are available to comment on how U.S. economic challenges will impact Canadian and global economies.

Werner Antweiler, Sauder School of Business
Tel: 604.822.8484

  • Impacts of the fiscal cliff (U.S., Canada and globally)
  • Optimal fiscal policy mix to fix the stalemate

“Without action, the automatic changes due to begin January 1st will impede economic growth significantly in the U.S.,” says Antweiler. “This would undoubtedly spill over into Canada because of our close links through trade.”

“The key is finding the balance between economic growth and reducing public debt. Curbing debt too fast can depress GDP, which may have the unintended consequence of raising the debt-to-GDP ratio, similar to what’s happening in Greece.”

Marit Rehavi, Dept. of Economics
Email: (email to arrange interviews)

  • The U.S. economy, health care and the fiscal cliff
  • Former staff of White House Council of Economic Advisers

“It’s more of a fiscal ski slope than a cliff,” says Rehavi. “The one thing that must be fixed by December 31 is the Alternative Minimum Tax, otherwise 2012 tax returns and tax refunds could be substantially delayed.”

“Dec. 31 is largely an artificial self-imposed deadline. However, if it passes with no deal in sight, it would signal the continuation of economic policy gridlock, and financial markets may react badly to that.”

Thomas Davidoff, Sauder School of Business
Tel: 604.822.8325

  • Consequences for the U.S. if the $6 billion in spending cuts and tax increases take effect
  • Reform of tax expenditures

“Eliminating the mortgage interest deduction and modest cuts to military expenditures would go a long way towards budget balance in the short-run,” says Davidoff. “Reducing the rate of growth of medical expenditures will be critical in coming decades.”

Paul Quirk, Dept. of Political Science
Tel: 604.822.2230

  • Political barriers to solutions

Kevin Milligan, Dept. of Economics
Email: (email to arrange interviews)
Twitter: @kevinmilligan

Keith Head, Sauder School of Business
Tel: 604.822.8492

  • Implications for Canada-U.S. trade

Follow and @UBCnews for updates.


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Basil Waugh
UBC Public Affairs
Tel: 604.822.2048

Andrew Riley
Sauder School of Business
Tel: 604.822.8345
Cell: 604.306.7137

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