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Trade News

Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.


Canada welcomes entry into force of WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 > 10:46:40

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

Quick facts

•    The TFA is the first multilateral trade agreement concluded since the establishment of the WTO in 1995. It was concluded at the Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali in 2013.

•    The WTO estimates that full implementation of the TFA could reduce trade costs for WTO members by an average of over 14 percent and boost global merchandise exports by up to $1 trillion annually, including up to $730 billion accruing to developing countries.

•    Canada was a founding donor to the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation (GATF), a public-private platform that will support the efforts of developing countries to implement the TFA by leveraging private sector expertise, leadership and resources to achieve commercially meaningful reforms. Canada is contributing $10 million to the GATF over seven years (2015 to 2022).


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