Free-trade with Canada: how to take advantage of the business opportunities abroad?

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Free-trade with Canada : How to take advantage of the business opportunities abroad ?

At a time when many countries are questioning their degree of economic openness and are retreating into protectionism, Canada opens up to foreign markets. Gradually, Canada positions itself in favour of free trade in order to facilitate its trade with other countries.

This article aims to inform you about the different countries that have signed agreements with Canada in order to allow you to deploy your strategy internationally.


There are currently several free trade agreements in place between Canada and other countries that facilitate doing business in foreign markets. Generally, they have the effect of reducing “tariff” measures such as customs duties, but also the effect on the “non-tariff” barriers such as standards, quotas, and protection of intellectual property.


The rules of origin concern the criteria used to define the place where a product has been manufactured. These rules specify the proportion of the value and production that must occur collectively in Canada and in the partner country of the free trade agreement in order for the countries to benefit from it. The application of these rules allows avoiding a situation where goods are simply brought into a partner country with an aim to benefit from the preferential advantages of these agreements.


To facilitate your success in foreign markets, you will find below the list of current free-trade agreements between Canada and other countries.

Free trade agreementsCountries concerned
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), in force since 1994USA, Mexico
In force since 2009Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland
In force since 1997Chile
In force since 2011Colombia
In force since 2015Korea
In force since 2002Costa Rica
In force since 2014Honduras
In force since 1997Israel
In force since 2012Jordan
In force since 2013Panama
In force since 2009Peru


There exist also agreements signed between the European Union and Ukraine, which will soon come into force. Other agreements (for example, with India and Japan) are still being negotiated and will be a subject of subsequent communication. The rules and exceptions of these agreements can be complex; to consult the details of each agreement, visit the website of the government of Canada, section “Trade and investment agreements” where you will find the source information.

To find out more about the trade between Canada and the European Union, read our previous article discussing the impact of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

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