Over the past 10 years, Canada has worked hard to expand its international markets. However, there has been little progress on dismantling the many barriers that continue to inhibit internal trade. These obstacles are estimated to cost the Canadian economy billions of dollars, reducing our country’s productivity, innovation capacity and competitiveness.

Last spring, the Internal Trade Secretariat (ITSC), in collaboration with Canada’s Public Policy Forum, launched a project to explore the key issues around the Agreement on Internal (AIT), Canada’s national framework for the interprovincial trade of goods, services, labour, and capital. We invited experts to prepare deep-dive papers that quantified the impact of internal trade barriers and identified potential best practices and next steps for improving the AIT.

On June 13, 2013, ITSC and the Forum convened a Symposium on the Agreement on Internal Trade in Ottawa. This event convened approximately 100 stakeholders to explore the successes, challenges and opportunities of AIT. The Symposium examined AIT governance, the absence of recent trade data, and best practices from internal and international agreements.

This report presents the key issues raised during the Symposium and in the deep dive papers, and will help inform the meeting of the Committee on Internal Trade (CIT) in the fall of 2013. It proposes a series of policy options that could improve the flow of goods, services, investment and labour across Canada’s provincial and territorial boundaries.

Download the report

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