In January 2014 when we embarked upon our brand-new 5-year Canadian Market Access and Capacity Building Services project (CMAS) the government was engaged in connecting Canada globally through the signing of bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs).
Global trade and development evolution
Over the five years, we have observed and participated in several changes in perspectives on trade, development and poverty reduction. New mechanisms, policies and tools, impacting ‘business as usual’ in the world of international trade and development, were implemented by governments and multilateral agencies such as the World Bank’s 2030 Agenda, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the World Trade Organization Trade Facility Agreement. In Canada we embarked upon a progressive trade agenda especially when it came to negotiating new trade agreements, and an unprecedented “Feminist International Assistance Policy.”
Canada increasing its economic and social footprint through a progressive trade agenda
In 2016, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, shared our trade agenda with the world during a lecture at the London School of Economics: “Growing Trade in a Progressive Way.” Canada began signing new trade agreements from the perspective of inclusivity – gender, environment and labour rights. New trade agreements include the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement, CETA and CPTPP. In April’s issue we shared how we can work with you in sourcing suppliers from Malaysia, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam under the CPTPP. Canada also modernized both the Chile and Israel FTAs to include gender chapters through which TFO Canada found an opportunity to empower Aymara women in Chile to access Canada’s market.
The 2018 Fall Economic Statement the government of Canada boasts that it is the only G7 country to have FTAs with all other G7 nations.