British Columbia is a strong supporter of rules-based trade in Canada and abroad, and recognizes its many benefits for people and businesses in B.C.
Interprovincial trade is especially important, considering that about 40% of Canada’s trade takes place within its own borders.
Free trade agreements remove impediments to trade, and create a safer and more dependable business environment for investors. Improving the flow of goods and services helps to create a strong and diverse economy, allowing B.C. companies to grow their business and create good jobs and opportunities in every corner of the province.
- B.C. is a trading province, and government sees the benefits that free and fair trade can provide when done correctly. This is especially important considering that about 40% of Canada’s trade takes place within its own borders.
- The Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) provides better access to government procurement opportunities across Canada and reduces regulatory barriers so companies can do business in other provinces more easily.
- The “negative list” approach that shapes the CFTA requires the federal government, provinces and territories to lift all trade barriers across all sectors unless specifically identified as an exception. This means if a government measure is not listed as an exception, no trade restrictions exist.
- Major exceptions under the CFTA include financial services and dairy supply management, as well as important public policy areas, such as those pertaining to First Nations, public safety, environmental protection, social services and culture.
- For example, some of B.C.’s exceptions include the ability to maintain log export restrictions, supply people in B.C. with low-cost electricity and manage access to natural resources.
- In July 2018, the premiers agreed in principle to significantly increase or remove personal exemption limits to allow Canadians to bring more alcohol with them when crossing provincial boundaries.
- The CFTA came into force on July 1, 2017.
For more information on the Canadian Free Trade agreement, visit: www.cfta-alec.ca/