Canada’s internal trade barriers are holding back the national economy, said Industry Minister James Moore during a speech this week at a conference in Ottawa.
Stunted trade is hurting businesses, workers and consumers, he adds, since companies are losing their competitive edges. As such, Moore calls for an unimpeded internal market that enables businesses to grow and create more jobs.
During his speech, the minister offered details on the federal government’s proposal, called One Canada, One National Economy: Modernizing Internal Trade in Canada, to modernize the Agreement on Internal Trade. He adds the federal government will take action on its own, where possible, but that talks are occurring with all provinces.
Internal trade facts
- Nearly 40% of national trade occurs within Canada’s borders.
- A request for proposals to create a new Internal Trade Barriers Index was launched on September 5, 2014. As outlined in Economic Action Plan 2014, the index will increase knowledge of the barriers to domestic trade and help governments identify priority areas for action.
- When the Agreement on Internal Trade came into effect nearly 20 years ago, Canada had concluded trade agreements with only two countries. Today, we have agreements in force or being finalized with 43 countries, giving Canadian businesses preferential access to over 1.1 billion consumers worldwide.
- Canada’s two most recent trade agreements (the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement) promise to add at least $14 billion annually in new economic activity, equivalent to creating more than 90,000 new jobs.