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Minister Moore unveils federal proposal for free and open trade in Canada

Press Release – One Canada, One National Economy: Modernizing Internal Trade in Canada

August 20, 2014 – Ottawa – Industry Canada

Industry Minister James Moore today unveiled the Harper Government’s proposal to work with the provinces and territories in breaking down Canada’s internal trade barriers that harm the national economy and hurt Canadian businesses, workers and consumers.

One Canada, One National Economy: Modernizing Internal Trade in Canada lays out guiding principles for modernizing the current Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT). Eliminating internal trade barriers would create jobs, boost economic growth and strengthen Canada’s internal market by helping to move goods and services more freely across Canada.

Today’s proposal is the result of Minister Moore’s recent national dialogue with Canadian businesses, workers and consumers. Throughout the summer, Minister Moore heard first-hand how Canada’s domestic barriers impede trade and deter competition in our national economy. There is a strong consensus across the country that the current Agreement on Internal Trade does not respond to the realities of a modern, globally integrated economy like Canada’s.

The Government of Canada will continue to work with the provinces and territories to reform the Agreement on Internal Trade, bringing it in line with the current global economic reality.

Quick facts

  • When the Agreement on Internal Trade came into effect nearly 20 years ago, Canada had concluded trade agreements with only two countries. Today, we have agreements in force or being finalized with 43 countries, giving Canadian businesses preferential access to over 1.1 billion consumers worldwide.
  • One Canada, One National Economy: Modernizing Internal Trade in Canada outlines two potential paths for federal, provincial and territorial partners to advance a modern internal trade framework: targeted reform that addresses priority areas of concern or a complete redesign of the Agreement to bring it in line with recent international trade agreements.
  • Nearly 40 percent of Canada’s trade occurs within its borders.
  • The creation of a new internal trade barriers index, outlined in Economic Action Plan 2014, will increase knowledge of the barriers to domestic trade and help governments identify priority areas for action.


“Trade is vital to our national economy and to the well-being of all Canadians. Canada is a free-trading nation; however, progress on internal trade has not kept up with our government’s recent success with international trade agreements. Our proposal unveiled today aims to update the Agreement on Internal Trade to benefit Canadian businesses, workers and consumers nationwide. I look forward to continuing to work with the provinces and territories to open trade within Canada.”

– James Moore, Minister of Industry and Minister Responsible for British Columbia

“Small businesses suffer the most under complex internal trade rules. As we continue to negotiate international trade agreements and open up Canadian markets, governments across the country must work together to update the Agreement on Internal Trade. Removing internal trade barriers and modernizing the AIT will make it easier for small businesses to grow.”

– Dan Kelly, President and CEO, Canadian Federation of Independent Business

“The free movement of goods, services, capital and labour between all parts of the country is urgently needed. We are encouraged that the federal government is now committed to eliminating remaining barriers to internal trade—an issue that has been costing Canadian companies billions of dollars over the years. We are ready to work with the various levels of government to advance this issue and improve the competitiveness of the Canadian economy.”

– Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce

“One Canada, One National Economy describes important steps we could take to free Canadians from the many absurd barriers that prevent them from earning their living and selling their goods and services wherever they wish. Time to move from plans to actions, though. We will be watching Ottawa and the provinces to see if this time they can make good on the promise of one barrier-free national economy for all Canadians.”

– Brian Lee Crowley, Managing Director, Macdonald-Laurier Institute

“The free movement of goods, services, people and investment within Canada is essential to our country’s economic health. We welcome the federal government’s plan to strengthen the Agreement on Internal Trade and call upon all governments to work together to ensure its success.”

– John Manley, President and CEO, Canadian Council of Chief Executives

Associated Links

Follow @industrycanada on Twitter and use #internaltrade to let us know how internal trade is affecting your business.


Jake Enwright
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Industry

Media Relations
Industry Canada
[email protected]


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