Joint Statement by Ministers Responsible for Internal Trade
Today, ministers and designates responsible for internal trade - representing all 13 provinces and territories and the federal government - issued the following statement:
"Earlier today, ministers and designates responsible for internal trade gathered in Toronto to review and advance negotiations to renew the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT). Negotiations are being conducted with the goal of enhancing and modernizing the 20-year-old framework that oversees trade within Canada.
The strong presence of Canada's ministers responsible for internal trade at this event reflects the importance we attach to these efforts to strengthen internal trade throughout the country.
At the meeting, we reaffirmed our commitment to reaching an ambitious, balanced and equitable internal trade agreement that would strengthen Canada's economic union for the benefit of Canadian businesses, workers and consumers. We also acknowledged that significant progress is already being made, and that negotiations are solidly on track to conclude successfully in March 2016.
In particular, we reviewed our progress in the areas of goods and services, investment, government procurement, technical barriers to trade, and regulatory cooperation. These were identified in 2014 by Canada's premiers and the federal government as areas of early focus for the negotiations.
We also reaffirmed the need to adjust, where appropriate, internal commitments with those made in Canada's international trade agreements, to ensure that Canadians do not receive less favourable treatment than is offered to foreign interests.
To build on this meaningful progress, we will continue meeting on a frequent basis, with a view to concluding negotiations on time."