Canada-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement Negotiations

Background Information

Free Trade negotiations between Canada and the Dominican Republic were launched on June 7, 2007. A first round of negotiations was held in Ottawa December 10-14, 2007. Officials last met in December 2009, but continue to exchange information with the goal of identifying a mutually acceptable basis upon which to re-launch negotiations.

Prior to the formal launch of negotiations, extensive domestic consultations were conducted in November 2002 with Canadian business, citizen-based organizations and individual Canadians, as well as with the provincial and territorial governments, to obtain views on a possible  free trade agreement (FTA) between Canada and the Dominican Republic. Consultations indicated broad support for a Canada-Dominican Republic FTA.

Following the formal launch of negotiations, the Government of Canada launched further consultations on a possible Canada-DR FTA as it relates to market access for goods, services and investment. The Government of Canada continues to welcome views from the public in regard to this initiative.

The Dominican Republic is an important and established trade and investment partner for Canada. Canadian merchandise imports from the Dominican Republic amounted to approximately $148.5 million in 2011, comprising scientific and medical equipment and instruments, electrical machinery and equipment, vegetables, apparel, and cocoa products. In 2011, Canadian merchandise exports to the Dominican Republic totalled approximately $148.8 million dollars, led by machinery, fertilizers, fish and seafood, paper and paperboard, and iron and steel.

The stock of Canadian direct investment in the Dominican Republic was approximately $433 million in 2011.

A bilateral free trade agreement with the Dominican Republic could deliver commercial benefits across many sectors of the Canadian economy, including a range of agriculture and agri-food products (e.g. frozen french fries, pulses, meats), natural resources and information and communication technology. Industries where there would be enhanced market access opportunities for Canada include: fish and seafood products, auto parts, electrical machinery, construction materials, including cement articles, wood and forestry products and prefabricated housing, industrial machinery and some paper and paperboard items. In some of these sectors, Dominican Republic tariffs range from 8% to 15%. An FTA with the Dominican Republic would also mean more security and predictability for Canadian investment in the Dominican Republic and enhanced market access for Canadian service providers in areas such as financial, professional (engineering), environmental and mining, energy and construction services.