British Columbia businesses looking to trade with other countries benefit from operating in one of the world’s most open trading economies. The provincial and federal governments are signatories to interprovincial and international agreements designed to reduce or eliminate barriers to trade for B.C. and Canadian businesses, investors and workers.
These agreements provide preferential market access, making it easier and more efficient to do business.Trade agreements:
- outline clear rules, increasing predictability
- reduce costs through the reduction and/or elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers
- provide a mechanism to address discriminatory practices that hinder trade and investment
Businesses in British Columbia are able to access the opportunities under trade agreements that B.C. and Canada are members of, such as the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA), the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement.
Trade within Canada
Canadian Free Trade Agreement
The Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) is an intergovernmental trade agreement between Canada and all provinces which entered into force on July 1st, 2017. Its objective is to reduce and eliminate, to the extent possible, barriers to the free movement of persons, goods, services and investments within Canada, and to establish an open, efficient and stable domestic market.
Learn more about Canada’s Free Trade Agreement
Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement
The Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) is an agreement between the Governments of British Columbia and Alberta that expands provincial trade and investment opportunities and reduces impediments to trade and labour mobility between the two provinces. It was signed in 2006 and took effect on April 1, 2007.
Learn more about the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement.
New West Partnership Trade Agreement
The New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA) is an internal agreement between the Governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. It builds on the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) between British Columbia and Alberta, creating Canada's largest barrier-free interprovincial market.
Like the TILMA, the NWPTA is more comprehensive than the CFTA and is focused on further reducing or eliminating barriers to trade, investment and labour mobility. It came into effect on July 1, 2010, with full implementation on July 1, 2013.
Learn more about the New West Partnership Trade Agreement.
Trade with Other Countries
World Trade Organization
The WTO is the only global organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, which are negotiated, signed and ratified by most of the world’s trading nations. Canada has been a member of the WTO since 1995.
Learn more about the World Trade Organization.
Other Negotiations and Agreements
Companies located in British Columbia also benefit from Canada’s other trade and investment agreements.
Learn more about Canada’s negotiations and agreements.