Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, along with the premiers from Alberta and British Columbia, have sent a joint letter to all premiers on behalf of the New West Partnership calling on them to support an ambitious Canada Free Trade zone for Canada’s internal economy.
The three New West Partnership premiers are calling on their colleagues across Canada to work together to overhaul and modernize the Agreement on Internal Trade. They want to create an Agreement on Internal Trade that eliminates as many barriers as possible and provides opportunities for businesses to grow and economies to diversify.
The new Canada Free Trade Zone would be a comprehensive renewal of the existing Agreement on Internal Trade based on:
- a negative list approach: as broad as possible where provinces and territories negotiate what is out, not what is in;
- full coverage for all procuring agencies;
- straightforward, accessible language;
- continued vigilance on labour mobility; and,
- strong enforcement mechanisms with the teeth to make sure that we all play by the rules.
Premiers noted that the original Agreement on Internal Trade, first signed in 1995, was a giant leap forward at the time. However, that agreement has not been able to keep up with changes in the economy and in international trade.
New West Partnership premiers will be discussing what a new and improved Agreement on Internal Trade looks like at the upcoming meeting of the Council of the Federation in Charlottetown in August 2014.