New internal trade agreement settled for Canada
By Top Crop Manager
The government has announced a new trade agreement. The Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) will take effect on July 1st, Canada's 150th anniversary, and will replace the existing Agreement on Internal Trade, which has been in place since 1995.
Currently, trade within Canada represents about one-fifth of Canada's GDP, or $385 billion annually. It also accounts for nearly 40 percent of all provincial and territorial exports.
Overall, the CFTA aims to improve the flow of goods, services and investments across all borders by reducing the jumble of rules and regulations, giving consumers lower prices and more choices of Canadian goods. For example, beer, wine and spirits will have a process in place to enhance trade among the provinces and territories.
The agreement also allows licensed professionals with Canadian credentials to work in different parts of the country. It also enables Canadian companies that operate in regulated professions like engineering and architecture, to compete for opportunities to governments across the country.
Rules in the Canadian Free Trade Agreement will automatically apply to all of the country's economic activity unless something is specifically excluded.
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is specifically looking forward to getting more details about the newly announced Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation Table, a body that will be established to coordinate processes for resolving trade barriers when they are identified by provinces and territories, with input from stakeholders.
In its advocacy work over the last year, CFA noted several areas in which farmers face difficulties in interprovincial trade. Some examples include trucking transportation regulations and differing requirements between federally- and provincially-regulated meat processing plants.