Canada benefits from open, transparent and rules-based international trading systems at regional, bilateral and multinational levels. This means facilitated trade procedures and reduced technical barriers are in place to support open, rules-based global trade and investment.
Canada has numerous agreements in place to increase the flow of Canadian goods and services across borders. This includes membership in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Canada and European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and numerous other free trade agreements (FTAs).
NAFTA is a free trading zone between Canada, the United States, and Mexico. The Agreement has enhanced investment for Canadian firms, including reduced risk and easier transportation of goods. Canadian firms benefit by having access to the American and Mexican markets.
In Mexico, Canadian firms have been able to expand sales in sectors that were previously highly restricted, such as energy, financial services, and automotive products. Under NAFTA, foreign investors are granted the same protection as local or domestic investors.
By participating in NAFTA, Canada is assured long-term access to a North American market that includes over 471.9 million people and a combined GDP of USD $20.2 trillion. (International Monetary Fund, 2013)
As a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Canada is able to enter into trading relationships with the WTO's 155 member countries. These relationships help to reduce trade barriers and provide local businesses with access to global markets. Canada is currently engaged in free trade negotiations with Singapore, South Korea and several countries in the Caribbean.
The historic Canada and European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is by far Canada’s most ambitious trade initiative, broader in scope and more ambitious than the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The EU market—with 500 million people and annual economic activity of over $17 trillion—holds significant opportunities for Canadian workers and businesses. This agreement will create one of the largest trading blocks in the world. Canada stands to be one of the only developed countries with preferential access to more than 900 million consumers in the world’s two largest economies—the United States and the European Union. The investment opportunities and the competitive edge of this combined access will directly lead to jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity across Canada. The negotiations with the European Union are the most transparent and collaborative trade negotiations Canada has conducted.
For more information on CETA, click here. Source: Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (international.gc.ca)
Canada continually works toward deepening trade and investment ties with the largest and fastest-growing markets in the world, including Brazil, Japan, and the high priority markets of China and India. These are either in the form of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) or Foreign Investment Protection Agreements (FIPAs).
Numerous FTAs help Canadian businesses succeed by improving market access and promoting Canadian businesses overseas. The list below represents all of Canada's recently negotiated or active FTAs:
- Canada – Korea – Brought into force: January 1, 2015
- Canada - Honduras - Brought into force: October 1, 2014
- Canada - Panama - Brought into force: April 1, 2013
- Canada - Jordan - Brought into force: October 1, 2012
- Canada - Colombia - Brought into force: August 15, 2011
- Canada - Peru - Brought into force: August 1, 2009
- Canada - European Free Trade Association - Brought into force: July 1, 2009
- Canada - Costa Rica - Brought into force: November 1, 2002
- Canada - Chile - Brought into force: July 5, 1997
- Canada - Israel - Brought into force: January 1, 1997
- North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) - Brought into force: January 1, 1994
- Canada - U.S. Free Trade Agreement (CUSFTA) - Brought into force: January 1, 1989 (superseded by NAFTA, which includes Mexico)