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Archived - Industry Minister Moore Kicks Off Internal Trade Tour in Ottawa

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Discusses need to modernize trade within Canada to support businesses and consumers, strengthen the economy

June 17, 2014 – Ottawa – Industry Canada

Today, Industry Minister James Moore marked the beginning of a two-week national tour to engage businesses, consumers and everyday Canadians on government plans to modernize the 20-year-old Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT).

During today's roundtable discussion in Ottawa, Minister Moore championed Canada as a free-trading nation yet described how progress on trade within Canada has not kept up with the success of our international trade agreements. The Minister made clear that it should not be easier to trade with our international partners than within our own borders.

The Harper Government plans to work with the provinces and territories in examining a rewrite of the antiquated AIT to bring it in line with the current global economic reality. In particular, the roundtable participants discussed dismantling trade barriers and improving the AIT to enable small businesses to grow and to provide consumers with greater choice of goods and services.

Participants in Ottawa included representatives from the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the Canadian Apparel Federation, Beau's All Natural Brewing Co., the Greater Ottawa Truckers Association, Food Processors of Canada, the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada and Restaurant Les Fougères.

Quick facts

  • The Agreement on Internal Trade is an intergovernmental accord on trade within Canada that aims to break down the crippling barriers to trade that hurt our economy.
  • When the AIT came into effect nearly 20 years ago, Canada had concluded trade agreements with only five countries. Since then, Canada has concluded free trade agreements with 38 countries that make up nearly half the global marketplace.
  • It has been estimated that internal trade barriers can add up to a $50-billion annual hit to Canada's economy.
  • Nearly 40 percent of Canada's trade occurs within Canada's borders.
  • The creation of a new internal trade indicator, outlined in Economic Action Plan 2014, will increase knowledge of the barriers to domestic trade and help governments identify priority areas for action.


"Progress on the Agreement on Internal Trade has been far too slow and unambitious to prepare Canada for the reality of today's global economy. It should not be easier to trade with other countries than within our own borders. Today's conversation in Ottawa is an important step to move forward on trade within Canada. The time for action has never been better to collaborate and build a stronger, more open Canada."

– Industry Minister James Moore

"It makes no sense for Canada to provide greater benefits to our trading partners than to companies, workers and consumers within our country. We urge all levels of government to cooperate in the elimination of all unnecessary barriers."

– The Honourable John Manley, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Council of Chief Executives

"Canadian manufacturers and exporters rely heavily on the flow of goods and people across Canada to grow. In the last decade, and especially during the most recent U.S. recession, trade among provinces has been more intense than Canada–U.S. trade. Interprovincial trade can become an important source of growth for the Canadian manufacturing sector, as well as sustained economic growth for the natural resources sector in the Prairies and in Western Canada. Canada's Agreement on Internal Trade is an important feature of our national economy and ensures provinces respect common rules and harmonize their regulations in areas such as government procurement systems, labour standards, consumer protection measures, environmental regulations and taxes."

– Jayson Myers, President and CEO, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

Follow @industrycanada on Twitter and let us know how internal trade is affecting your business using #internaltrade


Jake Enwright
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Industry

Media Relations
Industry Canada

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