February 22, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada
Canada welcomed today’s announcement by the World Trade Organization that the Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA) has entered into force. The TFA is important for Canadians because it will lower trade costs globally by modernizing and simplifying the customs and border procedures of WTO members. Canada’s support for the TFA reaffirms its commitment to a rules-based system for trade that levels the playing field for exporters and creates opportunities for middle-class Canadians.
The TFA will particularly help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) increase their exports, because trade costs are disproportionately high for them. The implementation of the TFA will help Canadian SMEs export to fast-growing emerging markets in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. If all the provisions of the TFA are implemented by all the WTO members, Canada could achieve a reduction in trade costs of up to 11.4 percent, potentially leading to an increase in the total value of trade of up to 1.7 percent. Using Canada’s 2013 two-way trade as a reference, this would be a $16.1-billion gain.
Canada submitted its acceptance of the TFA on December 16, 2016. Along with international partners and through mechanisms that include the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation and the World Bank Group’s Trade Facilitation Support Program, Canada provides assistance to developing countries to implement the TFA.
Canada encourages WTO members that have not yet ratified the TFA to do so as soon as possible and looks forward to working with developing countries to fully implement the commitments in the agreement.
“This important trade agreement will help both developed and developing countries by reducing trade costs for businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, who will in turn create jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it.”
– François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade