FREDERICTON (GNB) – Treasury Board President Roger Melanson, who is also the minister responsible for Trade Policy as well as the chair of the national Committee on Internal Trade, announced today that negotiations have concluded on the Canada Free Trade Agreement that aims to expand Canadian businesses and increase economic growth across the country.

“As chair of the Committee on Internal Trade, I am tasked with overseeing the implementation of the agreement,” said Melanson. “I am proud to assume this role, and am committed to ensuring its implementation is smooth and that its benefits flow to all Canadians.”

The agreement, signed by all provincial and territorial governments, as well as the federal government, was announced today in Toronto. It takes effect July 1.

“As Canada's most trade-oriented province, New Brunswick has long been a supporter of reducing trade barriers and expanding economic opportunity within Canada,” said Melanson. “This agreement will provide enhanced opportunities for New Brunswick businesses to sell their goods and services across Canada.”

The Canada Free Trade Agreement aims to reduce barriers to trade, investment, and worker mobility, helping to increase choice for consumers, lower costs for public contracts, and create more jobs for Canadians. It also includes rules that open trade in goods and services, processes that reduce unnecessary regulations, and provisions that increase access to government procurement opportunities. In addition, the agreement establishes a new framework to intensify interprovincial trade in areas such as alcohol and financial services.

Melanson will call a meeting of the Committee on Internal Trade in the near future to establish the working groups that arose from the negotiations.

The agreement and related materials are available online.