SASKATOON, SK, July 10, 2019 – Internal trade is pivotal to the growth of businesses in every province and territory, in particular for small and medium sized enterprises. Interprovincial trade of goods and services has been steadily rising over the years and represented more than $406 billion in 2017. Constant and significant progress has been made in the past years to liberalize trade in Canada, resulting in more access to markets from coast to coast to coast, enhanced labour mobility for workers and less red tape for businesses. Premiers are committed to continuing to work cooperatively to ensure the success of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) and further reducing trade irritants. Premiers call on the federal government to also address barriers in its areas of jurisdiction.
Over the past year, provinces and territories have:
- Completed an Action Plan on enhancing Trade in Alcoholic Beverages (https://www.cfta-alec.ca/federal-provincial-territorial-action-plan-trade-in-alcoholic-beverages/) while maintaining a strong focus on social responsibility;
- Completed reconciliation agreements that will address regulatory differences in the areas of occupational health and safety, transportation and technical safety;
- Consulted key industry and community stakeholders on priority areas for future work; and,
- Advanced work to increase the overall ambition of the CFTA, including reviewing exceptions and making progress toward adding financial services and cannabis for non-medical purposes within the scope of the Agreement.
Premiers are committed to ongoing action, over the coming year, provinces and territories will prioritize work to:
- Identify and address outstanding impediments to labour mobility;
- Align regulatory approaches in a number of priority areas;
- Advance further liberalization of trade in alcoholic beverages;
- Review Party-specific exceptions in the CFTA; and,
- Cooperate on aligning future regulations in emerging areas.
Enhanced trade in alcoholic beverages, balanced with social responsibility, remains a strong focus of Premiers. Work continues cooperatively and within individual jurisdictions to improve consumer choice and producer access to markets through tools such as e-commerce platforms, direct-to-consumer sales, reduced red tape and improved transparency. Significant progress continues on eliminating or reducing limits on personal exemption limits for alcohol transported across provincial-territorial boundaries.
Premiers are also committed to ongoing collaborative efforts to tap into Canada’s economic potential by further liberalizing trade through the CFTA. Premiers agreed to an immediate amendment to the CFTA to enable the narrowing or elimination of exceptions and call on the federal government to adopt this amendment. Additionally, by the end of 2019, each government will conduct a full review of its own specific exceptions, and call on the federal government to do the same.