Alberta to benefit from new Canadian Free Trade Agreement

 

CAFTAEnergy, particularly the utilities and power generation sector, is a key part of CFTA

Alberta businesses, investors and workers will have easier and increased access to Canada-wide markets, including government tenders in other provinces and territories, under the new Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), according to an Alberta government press release.

cftaThe new CFTA came into effect on July 1 and establishes a comprehensive framework for internal trade that makes Canada’s domestic market more modern and competitive for all Canadians.

“The CFTA is a good deal for Alberta, and we look forward to its implementation. By creating a more open and stable domestic marketplace, we are improving opportunities for Alberta businesses, allowing them to innovate, grow and create jobs,” said Premier Rachel Notley, who noted that companies and workers from other provinces and territories have long benefited from Alberta’s open markets and that Alberta exports to the rest of Canada totalled $63 billion in 2015.

The Alberta goverment says it pushed to include “negotiating policy flexibility” to allow the government to pursue priorities such as investments in renewable and alternative energy and local economic development.

Removal of inter-provincial trade barriers within Canada could add between 0.1 and 0.2 percentage points or between $2 billion and $4 billion to the country’s annual gross domestic product, according to a Bank of Canada study, as reported by the Financial Post.

Brad Duguid, Ontario’s minister of economic development and growth, who was chair of the negotiations, says CFTA is expected to add $25 billion a year to the Canadian economy.

“In another historic first, suppliers to most publicly owned energy utilities can bid for a range of government contracts in many parts of the country,” Navdeep Bains, federal minister of innovation, science and economic development, said in an April speech.

“These contracts are estimated to be worth more than $4.7 billion annually.”

CFTA provides a clear set of trade rules and resolution processes that will make it easier for Alberta businesses to access opportunities from coast to coast to coast.

It also includes plans for a single-access web portal for all provincial, territorial and federal government tenders.

“Alberta’s small businesses have a bigger economic impact than small businesses anywhere else in the country. That’s why our focus is to make it even easier for our businesses  to get their world-class products and services to Canadian markets as we work together to diversify our economy, create jobs and make life better for Alberta families,” said Deron Bilous, minister of economic development and trade.

CFTA replaces the existing Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) that has been in force since 1995.

Alberta has been a signatory to the AIT for the past 22 years and actively participated in the CFTA negotiations.

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