On October 10, 2010, the Honourable Peter Van Loan, former Minister of International Trade, and his Israeli counterpart Binyamin Ben Eliezer, Israel's then Minister of Industry, Trade and Labour, announced that Canada and Israel were to undertake steps toward modernizing the existing Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA). The Ministers agreed that officials would start exploratory talks in order to work on moving beyond the original, first-generation trade agreement that is currently in place by significantly expanding its application. (See News Release)
The CIFTA entered into force on January 1, 1997, eliminating tariffs on all industrial products manufactured in Canada and Israel as well as a limited number of agricultural and fisheries products. Between 1999 and 2003, additional agricultural and agri-food tariff reductions on goods previously excluded from the Agreement were successfully negotiated. This included preferences for many of Canada's top agricultural and agri-food exports to Israel. The CIFTA does not include substantive provisions in areas such as services, investment and government procurement, nor does the Agreement have parallel agreements on labour cooperation or the environment.
Canada-Israel bilateral goods trade has more than doubled since the inception of CIFTA, from $507 million in 1996 to $1.4 billion in 2010. Canada's consideration of whether and to what extent to expand the coverage of the CIFTA will take into account, inter alia, potential stakeholder interests through a public consultation process.
The Government of Canada is seeking the views of Canadians on the scope of potential negotiations for the expansion of the existing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Canada and the State of Israel (Israel).
If you have questions or comments about this initiative we would like to hear from you. Please contact Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada at:
Trade Policy and Negotiations Division I (TPE)
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Lester B. Pearson Building
125 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2