Free Ad­vice THINK­ING OF TAK­ING YOUR busi­ness else­where? Un­der­stand how in­ter­na­tional trade deals fit into the pic­ture

BC Business Magazine - - Small Business -

Canada is party to three ma­jor trade agree­ments: with the U.S. and Mex­ico ( NAFTA), the EU ( CETA, due to take ef­fect this month) and South Korea ( CKFTA). Each re­moves tar­iffs and other bar­ri­ers on many goods and ser­vices. In­ter­na­tional trade ad­viser Al­li­son Boul­ton out­lines what you need to know

DO WE HAVE A TRADE AGREE­MENT WITH THAT COUN­TRY?

When choos­ing your for­eign mar­ket, a trade deal should be one of your con­sid­er­a­tions. CKFTA and CETA are both pro­gres­sive agree­ments, so things like tar­iffs may change over sev­eral years. For your prod­uct or ser­vice, note where the deal stands.

IS MY PROD­UCT CANA­DIAN?

Goods with im­ported com­po­nents–for ex­am­ple, a ta­ble with legs made from for­eign metal– might not rate as Cana­dian un­der trade rules. “If the an­swer is `Yes, it's an amal­ga­ma­tion,' you can still ex­port it, but you need to keep your eyes open,” Boul­ton warns.

FREE TRADE GOES TWO WAYS

B.C. com­pa­nies ben­e­fit from trade agree­ments, but don't for­get that prod­ucts ar­rive as quickly as they go out. “That's an­other rea­son we need to stay on our game,” Boul­ton says. “If we're not com­pet­i­tive on a world scale, we've still got our own lit­tle ter­ri­tory, and other peo­ple are com­ing in.”

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