As of 2014, Canada has free trade agreements with 11 countries. These agreements were put in place to promote economic growth and increase international trade opportunities for Canadian businesses.
The first free trade agreement signed by Canada was with the United States in 1988. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was later signed by Canada, the United States, and Mexico in 1994. Since then, Canada has signed free trade agreements with several other countries, including Israel, Chile, Costa Rica, Jordan, Peru, Panama, Colombia, South Korea, Honduras, and Ukraine.
These trade agreements have had a significant impact on Canada`s economy. In 2019, Canada`s total merchandise trade with its free trade partners was valued at $1.6 trillion. Additionally, the agreements have opened up new markets for Canadian businesses, allowing them to expand and compete on a global scale.
One of the key benefits of free trade agreements is the elimination of tariffs and other trade barriers. This makes it easier and more affordable for businesses to import and export goods between countries. The agreements also provide a framework for resolving disputes and protecting intellectual property.
However, free trade agreements are not without their critics. Some argue that they can have negative effects on certain industries or groups of people, such as those in the manufacturing sector who may lose jobs to cheaper imports. Others argue that the agreements can lead to lowered environmental or labor standards in partner countries.
Overall, free trade agreements have played a significant role in Canada`s economic growth and international trade relationships. As of 2014, Canada had free trade agreements with 11 countries, and it is likely that more agreements will be signed in the future.