Canada’s provincial premiers and territorial leaders have agreed in principle to a trade deal aimed at increasing jobs and boosting the economy.
The new Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) is designed to allow businesses to grow more quickly and remove some of the barriers of expansion to other provinces and territories.
The agreement brought a successful end to the Council of the Federation meeting in Whitehorse, Yukon last week.
Once put in place, the agreement will modernize a similar deal struck between the provinces and territories 23 years ago.
The federal government has been a key driver in getting the new deal signed, with some technical details still left to be ironed out.
“For the first time in a generation, Canada is adopting a new and modern framework for trade within our borders,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
“Canadians will benefit from increased opportunity and choice.
“An open market drives economic growth and creates well-paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it. It also gives Canadian consumers greater access to products made across Canada.
Free Trade of Alcohol
“I’m proud that this agreement will ensure freer trade and economic activity within our nation’s borders.”
One of the key parts of the agreement centres on the free trade of alcohol, representing the first time all premiers and leaders have committed to working towards a deal to see beverages move more easily across internal borders.
During the two-day conference, Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec reached a separate agreement to allow wine to be bought online from each of the three provinces.
With the vast majority of public organisations covered by the wider CFTA deal, it is set to make it easier to do business Canada-wide, instead of within one territory or province.
While the agreement does not remove any trade barriers, it represents a commitment to start to bring them down and makes it difficult for new ones to be erected. This should make doing Canada-wide business cheaper.
B.C. Premier Christy Clarke referenced Donald Trump’s attitude towards the North American Free Trade Deal (NAFTA) during the recent Republican conference in the US.
With Trump seemingly keen on limiting trade with Canada, Clarke feels inter-provincial trade will be even more important if the former reality TV star comes to power.
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