The Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) is an agreement between the federal, provincial, and territorial governments of Canada that came into effect on July 1, 2017. It replaced the previous Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), which had been in place since 1995.
The CFTA aims to reduce barriers to trade between the different regions of Canada, making it easier for businesses to operate across provincial and territorial borders. The agreement covers a wide range of areas, including government procurement, professional qualifications, and technical standards.
One of the key benefits of the CFTA is that it helps to create a level playing field for businesses operating in different parts of Canada. Prior to the agreement, businesses faced a range of different regulations and standards depending on where they were located. This meant that it was more difficult for businesses in some regions to compete with those in others.
Under the CFTA, however, businesses are able to operate across the country with greater ease. This helps to promote economic growth and create jobs, as companies are able to take advantage of market opportunities in different parts of Canada.
In addition to promoting economic growth, the CFTA also helps to protect Canadian consumers. By standardizing regulations and standards across the country, the agreement ensures that consumers in every region of Canada have access to safe and high-quality products and services.
Of course, like any major policy agreement, the CFTA is not without its critics. Some argue that the agreement does not go far enough in protecting certain industries or in addressing non-tariff barriers to trade. Others argue that the agreement unfairly benefits large corporations at the expense of small businesses and workers.
Despite these criticisms, however, the CFTA represents an important step forward for trade in Canada. By reducing barriers to trade and creating a more level playing field for businesses, the agreement helps to promote economic growth, create jobs, and protect Canadian consumers.