Legislation introduced today, Sept. 12, will help enhance interprovincial trade and meet requirements under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.
The Canadian Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act replaces the former Agreement on Internal Trade Implementation Act. It includes provisions that make the agreement enforceable in Nova Scotia, including in areas such as labour mobility.
“At its core, the Canadian Free Trade Agreement is designed to reduce trade barriers and enhance the flow of goods and services, investment and labour within Canada,” said Trade Minister Geoff MacLellan. “Interprovincial co-operation and trade is critically important in creating jobs and opportunities for Nova Scotians and Canadians.”
The domestic market is important to Nova Scotia businesses. Over half of Nova Scotia’s trade is interprovincial, totalling over $8.4 billion in exports of goods and services in 2016.
The Canadian Free Trade Agreement came into effect on July 1, 2017, replacing the Agreement on Internal Trade which had been in place since 1995. The agreement establishes an open, efficient and stable domestic market.
It also contains obligations for binding dispute resolution for government-to-government and individual business-to-government disputes. The agreement requires each government to take steps to ensure dispute resolution orders are legally enforceable.
The act contains labour mobility enforcement provisions that balance the interests of regulators in setting and enforcing professional standards with the need to ensure that government’s obligations under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement for labour mobility are met.
Upon proclamation of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Nova Scotia will officially enforce the Canadian Free Trade Agreement. Provinces are required to have an enforcement mechanism in place by Dec. 31.