Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat issued the following statement at the end of today’s Internal Trade Renewal Ministers’ meeting in Toronto:
“After concluding today’s meeting with provincial, territorial and federal ministers responsible for trade, I am very encouraged by the progress we are making toward improving the 20-year-old Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT).
“British Columbia has long been of the view that provincial, territorial and federal governments must work to eliminate impediments to trade, investment and labour mobility in Canada. For too long, Canadians have been negatively impacted by unnecessary internal trade barriers. Some of these barriers include conflicting regulations, discriminatory procurement practices and investment distorting subsidies.
“Nearly 40% of Canada’s trade occurs within its borders and one in every five jobs is directly dependent on trade. Allowing goods, services, investment and workers to move freely across provincial borders will boost trade and productivity, make it easier for businesses to expand into other provinces; lower costs for businesses, consumers and taxpayers; and create and sustain good jobs for British Columbians.
“Today’s meeting was an important and overdue step toward creating an agreement that helps us strengthen our economy and reduce the costs of doing business across Canada, resulting in new opportunities to grow and diversify our economies.
“I look forward to meeting with my provincial counterparts on a frequent basis and concluding negotiations on a new AIT by March 2016.”
Ministry of International Trade