Canada Internal Free Trade Agreement

The implementation of the CFTA has focused on working groups at official level, particularly with regard to regulatory coordination, but also for trade in alcoholic beverages, financial services and party-specific exceptions. This is followed by details of the activities of these F/P/T working groups and the Confederation`s main achievements to date. For details on the status of key actions, see tab A. The CFTA covers almost all sectors of activity and provides a comprehensive set of rules for trade in goods, services, investment and labour within Canada. The CFTA: At the November 2018 ILC meeting, ministers asked FPT officials to carry out the necessary preparatory work to allow for a review of party-specific exceptions. At the MFM in December 2018, Prime Ministers agreed to accelerate work to remove internal barriers to trade and to strengthen the CFTA in part by reducing the number of exceptions. At the May 2019 ILC meeting, a two-step approach was presented to ministers to reduce the number of party-specific exceptions: (1) a technical review and the development of an amendment to the CFTA that would allow a party to unilaterally liberalize its party-specific exemptions; and (2) substantive renegotiations. On December 13, 2018, following the Prime Minister`s meeting in Montreal, Prime Minister Pallister issued a press release and called for strong federal action to reduce internal trade barriers. Manitoba also took note of its request to the federal government to remove existing barriers in the area of environmental assessment (Bill C-69) and amendments to the Fisheries Act (Bill-68), to reduce federal exemptions in the CFTA (mainly for supply), inspections of meat for processing and sale, new food inspection rules under the Safe Food For Canadians Act and harmonization of energy efficiency standards for household appliances. There are a few agreements to improve trade between provinces and territories. The new West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA), comparable to the CFTA, entered into force on 1 July 2010 and was fully implemented on 1 July 2013. The agreement covers the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Colombia-Colombia. Manitoba joined in November 2016 and the full transition is expected by January 1, 2020.

The NWPTA requires any jurisdiction to improve trade, investment and labour mobility and to remove barriers between them. It also requires the western provinces to eliminate unnecessary differences in business standards and regulations and have been to allow services, capital and works to flow freely across the four borders, unless there is an exception. The federal government has taken several steps to improve internal trade, including: in February 2019, the four provinces reached an agreement to establish a single dispute settlement mechanism for obtaining under several trade agreements, including the NWPTA, CFTA and CETA. This dispute resolution procedure, called the supply protest mechanism, applies to each trade agreement and allows the four provinces to meet their obligations under all domestic and international trade agreements by simplifying the process to respond more effectively to supply issues. [ * ] Saskatchewan recently formally approved the amendment to the CFTA to allow contracting parties to unilaterally liberalize their waivers, reflecting its ongoing priority for improving internal trade within Canada. . . .