Fourteen free trade agreements have been ratified by the Canadian government and are currently in force. Together, these agreements represented $507.8 billion in imports and $533.7 billion in exports in 2018, representing a net export surplus of $25.9 billion. By comparison, in the same year, Canada`s total imports with the world were $596.0 billion, while total exports were $584.1 billion, representing a net export deficit of $11.9 billion. This means preferential access to about 1.5 billion consumers from established markets such as the United States, the European Union (EU) and Japan, as well as fast-growing emerging economies throughout Latin America and Asia. Free trade agreements give Canadian products, services, investment and business people an advantage over their competitors by reducing costs and creating a more stable, transparent and predictable environment in which businesses can prosper and develop their full potential. According to Turley, Canada`s free trade agreements help ensure that Canadian companies are treated as predictably and transparently as their domestic competitors abroad. In an increasingly integrated global economy, it is important for businessmen to be able to cross borders to facilitate trade and investment. Removing non-tariff barriers « helps Canadian businesses grow and prosper by temporarily ensuring smooth cross-border travel or relocation, » he says. For example, some free trade agreements facilitate access to certain categories of businessmen, such as business travellers. B, company workers, highly skilled professionals and investors. In September 2019, World Affairs Canada listed 31 free trade agreements at various stages of the negotiation.
Twenty of them are with individual countries, while the other 11 are groups of countries. Some countries are part of more than one free trade agreement with Canada. While free trade agreements may seem complex, they are intended to make trade more accessible to all Canadian businesses, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Recent free trade agreements, such as the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA), the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (PPAC) agreement, have been negotiated to make trade more accessible to SMEs.