A new free trade agreement will make Manitoba businesses more competitive in domestic and foreign markets, “said Provincial Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade, Cliff Cullen.
After two and a half years of negotiations between the provinces, Manitoba ratified the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) on Friday .
The objective of the agreement is to eliminate trade barriers between provinces. The new agreement replaces the Agreement on Internal Trade, which has been in force since 1995. Unlike its predecessor, the CEFL covers all sectors of the economy by default.
“This is an exceptional opportunity for our province and for the Canadian economy as a whole,” enthuses the Minister of Commerce. “The [CEFTA] framework will allow us to deliver even more goods and services across the country. ”
Manitoba, an exporting province in Interprovincial trade deal
Manitoba’s domestic trade in goods and services was $ 18.8 billion in 2015, accounting for 52% of total exports and almost 30% of the province’s gross domestic product.
“Since Manitoba is an exporting province, our businesses will benefit from this new agreement,” said Don Leitch, president and CEO of the Manitoba Business Council.
By expanding non-discriminatory access to different sectors of the Canadian economy, CEFTA will make it easier and cheaper to commercialize Manitoba goods and services across the country.
International competition “on an equal footing”
Minister Cullen noted that ALEC will also harmonize domestic trade commitments with international trade commitments, including the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
According to the Progressive Conservative, this standardization will allow Manitoba companies to compete on an equal basis with foreign companies in the domestic market.
Manitoba will continue its efforts to modernize and expand trade both within Canada and globally.
The president of the Keystone Farmers of Canada (KAP) group, Dan Mazier, says that each year Canada imports over $ 47 billion worth of meat, cereals and vegetables from around the world.
“With interprovincial trade barriers, it’s easier for processors and retailers in the food industry to import food from another country than from another province,” he says.
The CEFTA offers the opportunity to reduce internal trade barriers and bureaucratic harassment, allowing consumers to choose more Canadian products.
The free trade agreement will enter into force on July 1, in time for the 150th anniversary of Confederation.
A clear absence In Interprovincial trade deal
While his name was among the participants in the summons sent to the media late Thursday, Prime Minister Brian Pallister was absent at the press conference on Friday.
He was also absent from a press conference earlier that day when the Progressive Conservative government announced the closure of three emergency services in Winnipeg.
According to the Minister of Commerce, the head of government was to prepare for the provincial budget, which will take place on April 11.
With information from Samuel Rancourt