The WTO plays a key role in strengthening economic ties in the global community and provides transparency and predictability so that businesses can thrive and create jobs for the middle class. Canada fully supports the WTO review process of member countries as an important element of transparency and of promoting greater public understanding of the benefits of rules-based trade.
The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, today welcomed the WTO Secretariat’s Trade Policy Review report on Canada’s international trade performance since 2015.
The WTO report praises Canada’s stable economic performance and highlights its trade-diversification efforts and strong growth during 2018.
Since the results of the last such WTO report, in 2015, Canada has brought four free trade agreements (FTAs) into force: the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement and modernized Canada-Chile Free Trade agreement. A modernized Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement is expected to enter into force this year.[VJ-1]
Canada now has 14 FTAs covering 51 countries, providing preferential access for 84.6% of its total trade. These are supported by the government’s strategy to increase overseas exports by 50% by 2025 by helping Canadian businesses of all sizes to better tap into markets abroad.
The WTO report also praises Canada’s commitment to inclusive trade, including its introduction of trade and gender chapters in its modernized agreements with Chile and Israel.
Canada will continue to work with all WTO members to strengthen the organization and to advance work on progressive issues in support of inclusive growth.
“Canada is committed to its leadership role regarding WTO reform under the Ottawa Group, which seeks to transform the WTO into a body that can respond to the challenges faced by the multilateral trading system.”
– Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification
Canada was one of the founding members of the WTO in 1995, and before that, Canada was a member of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Today, the WTO has 164 members around the world.
Canada passed legislation to implement the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement in December 2016 and has implemented its commitments regarding the WTO’s Information Technology Agreement.
All 164 WTO members periodically undergo an assessment of their trade policies. The 2019 review is taking place on June 12 and 14 at the WTO in Geneva, Switzerland. The WTO Secretariat report is produced as part of this review. Canada also prepares a government report outlining key aspects of Canada’s trade policy regime.