Canada Ratifies WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation

Global Affairs Canada 2017-01-03

Canada took an important step today in its progressive trade agenda by ratifying the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA). Canada is committed to a collaborative approach as we promote trade and investment.

The Minister of International Trade, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, welcomed the fact that Canada’s ratification was officially accepted by the WTO today in Geneva, Switzerland.

The TFA will lower trade costs by modernizing and simplifying customs and border procedures. Canadians stand to save up to $16 billion thanks to the reduction in bilateral trade costs following full implementation of the TFA. By enabling trade reforms, the TFA will create an environment that is easier for small and medium-sized businesses, and particularly developing countries, to participate in international trade and global value chains.


“Canada is delighted to ratify the trade facilitation agreement. When the costs of trade are reduced, more businesses will be encouraged to increase their exports. This contributes to economic growth for Canada and more jobs for our middle class and those working hard to join it. We look forward to the entry into force of this agreement so that its benefits can be tapped as soon as possible.”

- Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of International Trade

Quick facts

  • The TFA is a multilateral trade agreement concluded at the Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali in 2013.
  • Canada’s legislation to implement the TFA received Royal Assent on December 12, 2016.
  • The WTO estimates that the TFA could boost global merchandise exports by up to $1 trillion, with up to $730 billion of this increase benefiting developing countries. Trade costs are estimated to be reduced by an average of over 14 percent.
  • Canada is a founding donor to the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation (GATF), a public-private platform that supports the efforts of developing countries to implement the TFA by leveraging private sector expertise, leadership and resources to achieve commercially valuable reforms. Canada is contributing $10 million to the GATF over seven years (2015 to 2022).
  • Canada provided $2 million in funding for the World Bank Group’s Trade Facilitation Support Program, launched in 2014, to facilitate the implementation of the TFA by developing-country members.

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