Recognizing the importance of trade to the Canadian economy, successive governments have negotiated free trade agreements (LEAs) that allow businesses to enter new markets around the world. Simply put, trade agreements create a level playing field for companies in international markets. They open markets for Canadian businesses of all sizes by removing trade barriers such as tariffs, quotas or non-tariff barriers. They create more predictable, fair and transparent conditions for companies operating abroad. Canada now has 14 free trade agreements in place and is one of the first members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the international organization that deals with the global rules of trade between nations. Making Canadian exporters more competitive in global markets has been a constant goal of the Canadian Trade Commissioners Service (TCS) over its 125-year history. The TCS`s approach has expanded over time to promote Canada`s network of trade agreements that reduce and eliminate barriers to trade. “Understanding how a free trade agreement can help your business compete abroad may seem daunting, especially for SMEs, but there are many resources to take advantage of the opportunities they open up,” says Turley. The TCS employs people in approximately 160 cities around the world, including all markets where Canada has an FTA, who can provide advice and recommendations to qualified local contacts. TcS also has financing programs that support international expansion, such as CanExport, which provides financial support to Canadian SMEs to diversify into new markets. Since 1996, employment and manufacturing in Canada have recovered significantly.
This suggests that some of the lost jobs and production has been redistributed to high-end manufacturing. On the positive side, tariff cuts have increased labor productivity (the amount of output produced per hour worked) by an average annual rate of 2.1 percent for the hardest-hit industries and 0.6 percent for the entire manufacturing sector, Trefler calculates. .