Recently, the Prime Minister of Canada visited China on a mission to improve relations and perhaps even push a formal trade agreement forward. At the exact same time, negotiators from Canada, the U.S., and Mexico are fighting to hammer out a deal for a new iteration of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), if that’s even possible with the U.S. President loudly advocating its dissolution. And finally, an element of stability and positivity, Canada’s free trade agreement with the European Union, the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Trade and Economic Agreement (CETA), was provisionally put into place in September.
With all of the talk of trade agreements permeating the news, it’s a good time to take a look at Canada’s OTHER free trade agreements—get ready for a lot of acronyms ending with –FTA!
A few weeks before CETA was applied, another free trade agreement went into force in August of 2017. The Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) basically eliminated customs duties on all goods imported from either country. There’s also a heavy emphasis on electronic commerce in the deal, making it one of the most modern agreements Canada currently has.
Another recent, and important, free trade agreement is the Canada-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA), which went into force in January of 2015. Eliminating approximately 98% of tariff lines for goods imported into both countries, the agreement was under fire from the Canadian Automotive Industry, as they were concerned about the importation of South Korean made cars. On the South Korean side, farmers and ranchers massively opposed the deal as they were concerned about Canadian agricultural imports damaging their industry. It just goes to show that there’s no such thing as a perfect deal for everyone.
One of Canada’s oldest modern trade deals is the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA) that went into effect January 1st, 1997. This was a huge deal for Canada, as it was our first trade deal outside of the Western Hemisphere. Although the deal underwent further negotiation and small amendments were made in 2002, 2003, and 2015, the deal is currently in the process of being modernized.
Another deal that’s currently on the Minister of Trade’s plate is the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA). It was Canada’s first trade agreement with a Latin American country outside of Mexico and the current government of Canada is looking to expand the deal.
The Canada–European Free Trade Association Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) is between Canada and the countries of Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. This was Canada’s first free trade agreement with any European nation, but it obviously wasn’t the last. It will be fascinating to see how this agreement is affected by the implementation of CETA in the coming months and years.
An interesting bit of negotiation occurred when the deal for the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement was reached. (This agreement doesn’t have an acronym, presumably because CCFTA was already claimed by Chile). Although it’s now fully implemented, Canada’s ratification of it was dependant on Colombia finally ratifying the Agreement Concerning Annual Reports on Human Rights and Free Trade Between Canada the Republic of Colombia, which was signed in May 2010.
Other Canadian free trade agreements include the Canada–Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement (CCRFTA), the Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA), the Canada-Jordan Free Trade Agreement (CJFTA), the Canada-Panama Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA), and the Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement (CHFTA).
And then, of course, there is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which seemed to collapse with the election of President Donald Trump last November. However, the agreement has started to show some signs of life, as many of the other nations that originally signed the TPP have shown interest in reviving the agreement. Japan has signaled that the ministers of the countries remaining in the deal have agreed in principle on a way forward. We will see if anything comes of this in 2018.
This is, of course, a very brief overview of Canada’s incredibly complicated and detailed free trade agreements. Each one has its own quirks and, in order for companies and individuals to take full advantage of the terms of each agreement, they need to know exactly what they’re doing. That’s why you should work with a customs brokerage like Inter Global Logistics. We work with companies, both large and small, and help them navigate the complicated world of trade agreements, tariffs, imports, exports, and any of your other shipping and customs needs.
If you’d like more information about Inter Global Logistics, please free free to fill out our contact form, or give us a call at 1-647-428-6537, or toll free at 1-866-777-7556. Just ask for Sheldon or Ken!
Canadian Customs Broker December 27th, 2017
Posted In: Canadian Customs Brokerage