|By Marketwired .||
|June 20, 2014 02:25 PM EDT||
REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN -- (Marketwired) -- 06/20/14 -- Industry Canada
Today in Regina, Industry Minister James Moore concluded a successful week of cross-Canada engagement on internal trade. He started the day with a tour of Global Transportation Hub, western Canada's largest greenfield transportation, distribution and supply chain hub. During the tour, the Minister learned about the many challenges in moving goods across western Canada.
The Minister then addressed the Regina and District Chamber of Commerce. He championed Canada as a free-trading nation yet described how progress on trade within Canada has not kept up with the success of our international trade agreements. The Minister reinforced that it should not be easier to trade with our international partners than within our own borders. In particular, he highlighted the Harper Government's plans to work with the provinces and territories in examining a rewrite of the antiquated Agreement on Internal Trade to bring it in line with the current global economic reality.
Minister Moore also met with his Government of Saskatchewan counterpart to discuss ways to revise the AIT to support free trade between provinces. The Minister provided an update on his cross-country discussions and the growing number of Canadian businesses and consumers calling for action on this issue. They also discussed the upcoming meeting of the Committee on Internal Trade, expected in August, and the need to work together to develop a plan for action.
-- The Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) is an intergovernmental accord on trade within Canada that aims to break down the crippling barriers to trade that hurt our economy. -- When the AIT came into effect nearly 20 years ago, Canada had concluded trade agreements with only five countries. Since then, Canada has concluded free trade agreements with 38 countries that make up nearly half the global marketplace. -- Nearly 40 percent of Canada's trade occurs within Canada's borders. -- The creation of a new internal trade indicator, outlined in Economic Action Plan 2014, will increase knowledge of the barriers to domestic trade and help governments identify priority areas for action.
"Progress on internal trade has been far too slow and unambitious to prepare Canada for the reality of today's global economy. The bottom line is it should not be easier to trade with other countries than within our own borders. In my discussions this week, it became clear that Canadians share a similar goal: a domestic market free of trade barriers. I look forward to continuing the dialogue on internal trade over the course of the summer."
- Industry Minister James Moore
"As a province that exports more than 75 percent of what we grow or produce, it is critical to continue to expand and enhance the infrastructure facilitating trade. The development of the Global Transportation Hub is an example of the firm Saskatchewan commitment to enhancing supply chain infrastructure which will support domestic and global trade for generations to come. Equally important is removing barriers that inhibit effective trade both domestically and internationally. On the international front, we applaud the progress the federal government has made in its free trade agenda, particularly in Asia. With respect to internal trade within Canada, we are encouraged by the positive signals from provincial and federal leaders about important changes to come."
- The Honourable Bill Boyd, Minister Responsible for the Global Transportation Hub
"Provincial trade barriers have been a long-standing issue in Canada with roots that stretch back to Confederation. We are very appreciative that the Government of Canada is addressing internal trade barriers and modernizing the Agreement on Internal Trade because resolutions to these barriers will have a positive impact on business."
- John Hopkins, Chief Executive Officer, Regina and District Chamber of Commerce
Follow @industrycanada on Twitter and use #internaltrade to let us know how internal trade is affecting your business.
Office of the Minister of Industry