FREDERICTON (GNB) – An agreement in principle for more open trade between provinces and territories was reached between Canada’s premiers at the recent Council of the Federation meetings held in Whitehorse, Yukon.

“This is a historic agreement that will be very beneficial to New Brunswick,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “New Brunswick’s economy relies more than any other province in the country on trade with other provinces and with countries outside of Canada.”

The new Canadian Free Trade Agreement will support the premiers’ vision for promoting trade, investment and labour mobility across provincial and territorial boundaries as part of a broader economic vision for Canada.

It includes broad coverage of the Canadian economy, reduced regulatory burden and enhanced procurement opportunities. Unlike the previous internal trade agreement, it will be based on a “negative list” approach where all government measures will be covered unless specifically excluded.

“Increasing trade opportunities for New Brunswick businesses will strengthen our province’s economy,” said Gallant.

Over the next few months officials will work to finalize the agreement. There will be continued discussions to ensure the final version reflects the terms agreed to by the premiers in Whitehorse. Once finalized, it will replace the Agreement on Internal Trade.