Cross-border trade in services chapter summary
Canada is home to a wide array of globally competitive companies active in areas such as engineering, architecture, information management, environmental protection and monitoring, mining and energy development. A large number of these Canadian service suppliers, including small and medium-sized enterprises, are trading services at a distance using information technology. These companies will benefit from a modernized cross-border trade in services (CBTS) chapter in the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), as it will provide more secure and predictable access to markets in the United States and Mexico.
The CBTS chapter builds on previous free trade agreements by including obligations and commitments that will provide enhanced transparency and predictability for service providers. Key features of the chapter include obligations that maintain a level playing field by ensuring that Canadian service suppliers will be afforded the same treatment as provided by other CUSMA countries to third Parties and to domestic service suppliers. The chapter also enables parties to reach a balanced outcome by allowing parties to list their respective non-conforming measures for sectors that are particularly sensitive and for which a party needs to preserve policy flexibility.
Technical summary of negotiated outcomes: Cross-border trade in services
- Builds on previous agreements by including obligations and commitments that will provide enhanced transparency and predictability for service providers with regard to limitations and requirements to supply a service to other CUSMA markets.
- Includes key obligations on national treatment, market access, local presence and most-favoured nation treatment, which maintain a level playing field by ensuring that Canadian service suppliers will be provided the same treatment provided by other CUSMA partners to their future third-party free trade agreement partners and to their domestic service suppliers in line with the agreement.
- Ensures that Canada will continue to retain the right to adopt or maintain any measures in areas pertaining to health, education and other social services, culture, maritime cabotage, fisheries, and Aboriginal and minority affairs.
- Includes high-quality market access outcomes supported through a “negative list” approach, whereby all measures affecting cross-border trade in services are automatically covered by the chapter’s obligations unless specifically listed. This approach allows for broader coverage of service sectors while being adaptable to all parties’ interests.
- Includes articles on the development and administration of measures to cover licensing and qualifications, requirements and procedures.
- Includes an annex on professional services comprised of non-binding guidelines for mutual recognition agreements for the professional services sector, as well as an annex on delivery services and a committee on transportation services.
- Does not apply to financial services, government procurement, services supplied in the exercise of governmental authority, or subsidies or grants provided by a party or a state enterprise.
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