Domestic Trade Policy

Non-tariff barriers can hamper free trade within Canada. These barriers may include differing government procurement practices, regulations and standards, transportation codes and  limits on flow of investment and skilled labour. In addition to increasing the cost of doing business and limiting innovation, internal trade barriers harm our international reputation as a place to do business.

Domestic trade agreements seek to reduce and eliminate barriers to the inter-provincial movement of goods, labour and investment, and to bring about a more open and stable domestic trade environment within Canada.

The federal government and provinces, including British Columbia, have been working for some time to remove or reduce barriers to internal trade and, in 1994, signed the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT).

To start to address the shortcomings of the AIT, the governments of British Columbia and Alberta created the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA). Following the TILMA, the governments of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan signed the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA). These interprovincial agreements are far more substantial in their ability to create open economies between the signatory provinces.