Backgrounder - Trade Leadership and Economic Successes in 2013

In 2013, Canada advanced its job-creating, pro-trade plan on a record number of fronts.

Opening New Markets

Trade Agreements

  • European Union: On October 18, Canada and the European Union reached an agreement-in-principle on a comprehensive trade agreement that will significantly boost trade and investment ties between the two partners and create jobs and opportunities for Canadians.
  • Panama: On April 1, the Canada-Panama Free Trade Agreement came into force, securing a competitive advantage for Canadian exporters.
  • Chile: On September 30, an agreement to amend the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement came into force that includes a financial-services chapter and updates chapters on government procurement, dispute settlement and customs procedures.
  • Honduras: On November 5, the Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement and parallel agreements on labour cooperation and environmental cooperation were signed.
  • TPP: Canada continued negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP is a regional trade and investment agreement being negotiated among 12 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.
  • Japan: Progress continued on an economic partnership agreement. The fourth round of negotiations took place in Ottawa in November.
  • India: Negotiations are ongoing toward a Canada-India comprehensive economic partnership agreement. The eighth round of negotiations was held in Ottawa in June.
  • South Korea: The 14th round of negotiations toward a free trade agreement took place in Seoul in November.
  • World Trade Organization (WTO): On December 6, Canada and other WTO members reached agreement on the Bali Package, consisting of a trade facilitation agreement and progress on issues related to agriculture and development. On December 3, Canada ratified the revised WTO Agreement on Government Procurement and welcomed its progress toward entry into force. Progress also continues to be made on the Trade in Services Agreement and the Information Technology Agreement.
  • Canada held ongoing exploratory discussions on free trade agreements with Thailand, Turkey and Israel.
  • Nuclear agreements were brought into force with India on September 27 and the United Arab Emirates on September 18 allowing Canadian companies to export nuclear material, equipment and technology for peaceful uses, in accordance with Canada’s nuclear non-proliferation policy and legal obligations. Similarly, a Nuclear Cooperation Agreement was signed on November 13 with Kazakhstan.

Market Access

Air Agreements

Standing Up for Canadian Interests

  • Country of origin labelling: Following through on its commitments to stand up for Canadian livestock producers by pursuing all options available to resolve this dispute, the Government of Canada along with the Government of Mexico requested the establishment of a World Trade Organization compliance panel on August 19.
  • Seal products: As committed to in the Throne Speech, the Government of Canada will continue to defend the seal hunt, as seas are an important source of food and income for coastal and Inuit communities. On November 25, Canada announced it will appeal to the WTO Appellate Body any findings that allow an unfair ban on seal products to continue.

Helping Canadian Businesses Expand and Succeed Abroad

  • Minister Fast led 15 trade missions, including to China, Ghana, Hong Kong, Japan, Kuwait, Nigeria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Turkey, as part of his efforts to advance the commercial interests of Canada’s private sector.
  • The Global Markets Action Plan, a new trade plan released on November 27, aligns Canada’s trade, development and foreign policy tools to advance commercial interests around the world, and sets concrete targets to grow the presence of Canada’s small and medium-sized enterprises in emerging markets.
  • On December 19, Canada and the United States issued the second annual progress report on implementing the Beyond the Border Action Plan.
  • On June 26, Canada and the United States issued the first progress report on facilitating cross-border business, which details efforts by both governments to achieve Beyond the Border Action Plan objectives and identifies areas for improvement.
  • Canada announced a number of improvements at border crossings to make travel and trade more efficient.
  • On January 8, Canada and the United States increased and harmonized the value thresholds for expedited customs clearance, which will reduce transaction costs for trade by millions of dollars each year.
  • Canada and the United States successfully implemented phase 1 of the truck-cargo-facilitation pilot project in Surrey, British Columbia, in which U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers will pre-inspect approximately 3,500 U.S.-bound trucks, expediting transport.
  • The Government of Canada announced infrastructure investments on September 4 that will strengthen the border, improve marine-container-inspection capacity and improve efficiency at Port Metro Vancouver.
  • The Government of Canada’s Global Opportunities for Associations program will provide up to $3 million to 39 industry associations to create new opportunities for Canadian companies in markets throughout the world.
  • Canada added new Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) programs for small, fast-growing companies in Boston, New York City and Silicon Valley. To date, more than 170 companies have benefitted from CTAs.
  • The Government of Canada has committed more than $3 million to 85 communities across Canada to assist with their efforts to attract new foreign investment, through the government’s Invest Canada-Community Initiatives program.
  • Extractive sector consultations: The Government of Canada launched a series of consultations with the extractive sector to help guide efforts to continue to support the sector and better help it succeed in priority markets around the world.

Protecting Canadian Investors Abroad and Bringing Foreign Investment to Canada

Positioning Canada for Long-Term Prosperity

  • Education: The Government of Canada announced it will develop an international education strategy to take advantage of the global demand for higher education. The estimated 265,000 international students in Canada contribute more than $8 billion to the economy and support 86,000 jobs.

Helping Grow Private-Sector and Business-to-Business Ties in Priority Markets