Brad Duguid, Chair of the internal trade renewal negotiations and Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Growth, released the following statement on Friday:
“I am pleased to announce that Canada’s ministers responsible for internal trade will submit to Premiers and the federal government, for their consideration, proposed recommendations that will lead to the most ambitious trade and economic growth deal in Canadian history. The proposed recommendations would reduce unnecessary and costly barriers to trade and investment across the country.
We are submitting this proposed package to Premiers and the federal government in time for the 2016 Summer Meeting of Canada’s Premiers in Whitehorse, Yukon.
Premiers across Canada and the federal government have long recognized the toll that trade barriers take on jobs and growth. That’s why provinces, territories and the federal government have been working in close partnership to strengthen and modernize the more than 20-year-old Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) since December 2014.
We believe that the proposed recommendations will lead to an ambitious, balanced and equitable agreement that will benefit Canadian businesses, workers and consumers. A total of 20 negotiating rounds and countless meetings have taken place in pursuit of our common goal. They have included representatives from all the provinces, territories and the federal government. Our historic talks have focused on improving Canadians’ access to public contracts, expanding trade in goods and services, increasing investment, reducing technical barriers and streamlining burdensome regulations.
The proposed agreement would apply to nearly all sectors, going well beyond the existing AIT. It would commit us to maintain a modern, open and competitive internal market to help expand businesses, create jobs and grow our local and national economies.
Highlights of the proposed recommendations may include, among other important aspects, a mechanism to reconcile regulatory barriers to trade between provinces; a negative list approach that automatically includes all sectors — unless explicitly exempted — to improve transparency and expand the scope of the recommendations; and alignment with Canada’s international trade agreements, such as the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. Full details of these and other key features of the recommendations will be discussed by Premiers in Whitehorse, Yukon.
Modern and fair economic rules can increase competition, foster innovation and grow businesses. Combined, this leads to a stronger Canadian economic union. Together, we can help grow the economy and create jobs for the benefit of all Canadians.”