At the end of 2013, Canada’s Committee on Internal Trade (CIT) met to deliberate on its internal barriers to trade which are costing the Canadian economy an estimated $50-billion each year. Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, tells the Globe and Mail that, “discriminatory hiring practices which favour local labour, minor differences in licensing requirements and standardization” are stunting growth for Canada’s provinces.  He continued on to say, “it’s sobering to think of a future where its’ easier for Ontario to trade with Europe or India than for Alberta to trade with Quebec.” In the last 18 years, provisional measures have been taken in the form of the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) which allows workers to move between provinces among other advances. Instead of viewing the AIT as a platform for growth toward free trade, Canadians have seemingly accepted it as the “best available option.”

Beatty is not willing to accept the AIT as the final deal for trade between the provinces. “The AIT has been a useful tool but it’s time to take off the training wheels. Canada needs a new, more ambitious, agreement on internal trade.”

For more on Canada’s progress on internal trade, view the full article on The Globe and Mail.

With regulations ever changing and updates constantly being made, we understand keeping up with new regulations affecting global trade can be challenging. Therefore, Global Trade News has taken the information that we have gathered over the last month from governments around the world, and compiled it into a monthly summary, posted here for you. You can access this information, along with all related FTA posts at any time by visiting the Free Trade Agreement category on this blog.

FTAs Recently In Force or Scheduled to Come Into Force:
EU – Guatemala –

FTAs Recently Signed:
Australia - South Korea –
European Union (EU) -Georgia - Moldova -

FTAs Under Negotiations:
European Free Trade Association (EFTA)  - India -
China - Sri Lanka-
India-ASEAN -
US – Japan -
New Zealand - South Korea -
EU – China -
New Zealand - South Korea -
Korea, - Canada -
Korea - New Zealand -
China - Australia -
Peru – India -
EU-US  -
South Korea -  Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) -
Malaysia – Turkey -
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP)-
EU  -  Ukraine -
Turkey -  Pakistan -

FTA Talks Beginning:
Philippines – European Free Trade Association (EFTA) -
NAFTA – Central America, Caribbean, Latin America -
Mauritius – Pakistan -

The China (Shanghai) FTZ Pilot opened on September 29, 2013. It’s the first FTZ launched in Shanghai and is a testing ground for the country's economic reforms, including yuan convertibility and unrestricted foreign currency exchange.

The “negative list,” which came into effect in Shanghai on December 2, 2013, specifies bans or restrictions on certain types of foreign investment. According to China Daily, the list covers 1,069 businesses in 89 divisions within 18 main categories. There are also 190 regulations on the conduct of business in the FTZ. Any industries not on the list are open to foreign investors, but those listed must apply for approval before setting up business in the FTZ.

An unofficial translation of the list includes “erotic industries,” “investment in news agencies,” “internet data services,” and the “processing of green tea with Chinese traditional handicraft” as prohibited for foreign firms. Other industries listed as “restricted” include “the processing of rice and flour,” “the construction of luxury hotels” and “legal consultation.”

Little explanation is given for most of the industries included on the list, aside from claims of compromises to China’s national or social security, and the Shanghai municipal government has given little information as to when some industries may be removed. Authorities stated that within the coming years, the list will be shortened and relaxed.

The list is similar to the existing Foreign Investment Industrial Guidance Catalogue but provides more restrictions which Chen Bo, an expert on economics and trade at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, believes might be hindering investments from foreign businesses. Currently, the list is in its pilot stage and is not expected to expand to other parts of the country.

"If the updated versions of the negative list expected to be released in 2014 and annually afterwards could attract more foreign investors in a short time, (the 'negative list' policy) probably would be ready to be expanded on a larger scale," said Chen.