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In a new report published today, we’ve identified regulatory barriers as the biggest threat to international trade.

The report, entitled Canada’s Next Top Trade Barrier: Taking International Regulatory Cooperation Seriously, sheds a harsh light on current issues surrounding regulatory cooperation between Canada and its trading partners and provides the federal government with a series of recommendations for improving Canada’s regulatory regime.

One of the key elements to come out of this report is that regulatory barriers don’t happen during deals between nations, but rather start right here at home, with our own domestic policies. Canada is moving in the right direction on trade agreements, which contribute to reduced tariffs on trade. But if companies are still facing insurmountable or very expensive regulatory barriers, we haven’t advanced much at all.

However, most of these barriers could easily be adapted to allow a freer flow of goods to and from foreign markets. Government can provide the leadership to remove these hurdles. Through initiatives like the Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council, by building regulatory cooperation measures into trade agreements and by providing industry with dashboards to evaluate progress, we can make Canadian companies more competitive.

Read Canada’s Next Top Trade Barrier: Taking International Regulatory Cooperation Seriously to find out more. This is the opportunity to take another step towards a building a Canada that wins.

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