The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is applauding a new agreement aimed at eliminating trade barriers in Canada.
“This is a major step forward,” explained Marilyn Braun-Pollon, Vice-President, Prairie and Agri-business with the CFIB.
The Canada Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) was unveiled in Toronto on April 7 and replaces the Agreement on Internal Trade from 1995.
The new agreement impacts trade, investment, and worker mobility. It takes a negative list approach, which means it covers all sectors except when exemptions are listed.
Ontario Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid said the deal is expected to add $25 billion a year to the economy.
Duguid pointed out the CFTA reduces the costs of doing business in Canada and makes the country economically strong and creates jobs.
“When you look at prior to this new agreement it was possible for European companies to have better access to Canadian trade opportunities than a business in a neighbouring province,” said Braun-Pollon.
Braun-Pollon pointed out the new agreement opens up markets by reducing rules and regulations which should provide Canadian businesses opportunities to innovate and expand. She added by improving the flow of goods and services and investments across the borders the agreement could give consumers more choices and lower prices.
“It’s a pretty ambitious and modern trade deal.”
The CFTA is a result of over two years of negotiations between the provinces, territories and the federal government.
The CFTA takes effect on July 1, 2017.