Ottawa, April 7, 2017—The Canadian Chamber of Commerce strongly applauds the new Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) announced by Canada’s federal and provincial governments. The CFTA, which will come into force on July 1, 2017, will allow for freer trade within Canada and start a process of eliminating regulatory barriers between provinces and territories. This has been a long-standing demand of the Canadian Chamber, outlined most recently in its Ten Ways to Build a Canada that Wins 2017.
“The new Canada Free Trade Agreement is a huge win for business. Eliminating inter-provincial barriers to trade has long been a priority of the Canadian Chamber,” said the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “As Canada pushes back against growing protectionist sentiment around the world it is crucial that we get our own house in order and the CFTA puts us on a path to do that.”
The agreement points to significant changes in the way the provinces work with each other on inter-provincial trade, which are sure to benefit business, consumers and governments across the country. The CFTA will move inter-provincial trade to a ‘negative list’ approach, where only exclusions are listed. All other goods and services will be automatically included.
“Prior to this agreement, a Canadian business could be disadvantaged compared to a European or American business when competing for government contracts within our own country. Today’s announcement of a new Canada Free Trade Agreement propels us into a new era of internal trade that will benefit all Canadians and strengthen our economy,” said Mr. Beatty. “As trade between provinces becomes more open and accessible, Canadian companies will be able to expand across the country, encouraging job creation and economic growth.”
“The success of the CFTA depends on the new regulatory reconciliation and cooperation process in the agreement. Most of the trade barriers between provinces are regulatory in nature and this agreement is a promise to start aligning these regulatory differences. We strongly encourage all provinces to work closely with business and move aggressively to start eliminating these unnecessary and prohibitive barriers to internal trade,” said Mr. Beatty.