Minister champions free trade zone within Canada

The Canadian Press
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Industry Minister James Moore says he’s on a mission to create a true free trade zone within Canada and expects to hand officials a mandate to start the process of negotiations with provinces as early as this fall.

Industry Minister James Moore says he’s on a mission to create a true free trade zone within Canada and expects to hand officials a mandate to start the process of negotiations with provinces as early as this fall. — Photo by The Canadian Press

Moore says he will issue a report detailing the failures of the current system and making a case for a new free trade deal among the provinces soon.

As well, he plans to meet with provincial and territorial counterparts next month or early September so as to get officials working on options this fall.

Moore says conditions for succeeding are better now than at any time in recent memory.

The rejection of the separatist Parti Québécois in Canada’s second most populous province, and arguably among the most closed economy, and the election of pro-trade governments in British Columbia and Nova Scotia in 2013 has created a rare opportunity to negotiate, he says.

He says tens of billions of dollars are being lost annually because of provincial protectionist practices, and with a slow-growth economy, there is plenty of incentive to act.

Three Western premiers sent a letter this week to their counterparts in advance of the provincial get-together in Charlottetown next month arguing it was time for a sea-change on the issue.

Moore says he welcomes the initiative as more evidence that there is genuine interest in creating a more open economy within the country.

Organizations: Parti Québécois

Geographic location: Canada, British Columbia, Nova Scotia Charlottetown

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