The Trade Policy Branch represents Transport Canada in a full range of trade-related duties, including the negotiation of Canada's free trade agreements. The Branch also acts as a resource for the Department by providing trade policy advice for all departmental groups.
At Transport Canada, trade policy involves promoting the interests of the Department and its stakeholders, as well as ensuring that the Department's activities comply with international treaties. These treaties primarily govern the cross-border movement of goods and services, but also govern, inter alia, international investment, government procurement, and technical barriers to trade in the transportation sector.
Trade and transportation are inextricably linked. International trade involves the cross-border movement of goods and services. Transportation makes trade possible and is, in itself, a major component of trade in services. Trade liberalization - the reduction or elimination of barriers to trade - is a priority for Canada and its major trading partners as evidenced by the global proliferation of free trade agreements and the rapidly expanding membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO). With Budget 2007, Canada adopted an ambitious Global Commerce Strategy that seeks engagement with priority markets through bilateral free trade agreements and foreign investment protection and promotion agreements (FIPAs). Trade liberalization has significant implications for the Canadian transportation sector, in terms of the level of demand for domestic and international transportation services and the creation of export and investment opportunities for Canadian transportation services providers.
The Trade Policy Branch actively participates in the negotiation of trade agreements to ensure fair treatment of Canadian companies in transportation sectors abroad and to provide them with greater access to foreign markets. In the negotiation of these agreements, the Branch also ensures that the Department's ability to regulate in the best interest of Canadians and the transportation industry in Canada is preserved.
Transport Canada's Trade Policy Branch is responsible for advancing stakeholder interests in all trade negotiations. Thus, consultations are an integral part of the negotiating process as they ensure that Canada achieves the best results possible for Canadian industry.
Consultations are conducted with the intention of defining Canadian negotiating objectives in the transportation sector. Follow-up consultations are conducted as required to ensure that stakeholder interests are advanced as the negotiations proceed. Two comprehensive consultation initiatives have been undertaken for the current World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Round negotiations on the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). These consultations were also used as the basis for the negotiating positions elaborated for Canada's regional and bilateral free trade agreement negotiations. In addition, separate targeted consultations were undertaken to examine Canadian export interests in aircraft repair, overhaul and maintenance services.
Canada is open to refining negotiating objectives in light of any new information. In this respect, should any concerns or questions related to trade barriers in foreign markets arise, they should be directed to the Trade Policy Branch.
Canada's Global Commerce Strategy (GCS) is an initiative to help Canadian companies meet the demands of an increasingly complex and competitive global economy, and to build even greater prosperity for the future. The GCS is founded on the notion that higher productivity and better access to North American and global markets will strengthen Canada's position as a destination and partner of choice for international business. Transport Canada fully supports this initiative and is actively engaged in the ambitious negotiating agenda that GCS entails.
As of July 2008, Canada has completed the negotiation of seven free trade agreements (FTAs), with four FTAs currently in force, and is in the process of negotiating with numerous other countries.
For further information regarding Canada's Global Commerce Strategy and an updated list of initiatives click the following link: Global Commerce Strategy.
Please click on the International Trade Canada website for updated links to the following agreements and status of negotiations:
Free Trade Agreements Awaiting Ratification
Current Free Trade Negotiations
Provided below are links to some trade-related international organizations:
Provided below is a link to International Trade Canada's Trade in Services webpage: