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Public Works and Government Services Canada

1.25.1. International and national trade agreements

Attention: The Government Procurement provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) continue to apply until the recently announced United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is ratified and enters into force. More information about the USMCA will be provided in the coming weeks.

  1. Canada is a party to several international trade agreements (ITAs) which include obligations aimed at reducing trade barriers between the parties in the area of government procurement: As well, Canada is a party to the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) with the provinces and territories. The CFTA replaced the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) on July 1, 2017; however, the AIT continues to apply to procurements commenced before that date.
  2. The Canadian International Trade Tribunal is the mechanism by which Canada enforces the implementation of the procurement obligations in these trade agreements.
  3. The procurement provisions of all trade agreements are similarly structured in that if a proposed contract meets certain criteria it is covered by the agreement; if it does not meet all the stated criteria then it is not covered. A proposed contract can be, and often is, covered by more than one agreement.
  4. Coverage Under Multiple Agreements
    For all trade agreements, PWGSC is required to comply with specific procedures when completing certain procurements. Therefore a decision must be made as to whether or not the requisition is subject to a particular agreement, or a combination of agreements. To determine coverage under the various trade agreements, the estimated procurement value (including the estimated amount of the Goods and Services Tax or the Harmonized Sales Tax), the client, the type of good(s) or service(s) or construction, and any exceptions or exclusions must be reviewed. Contracting officers should note that when the procurement is covered by more than one agreement, all agreements must be complied with at the same time. In order to accomplish this, the procedures to be followed are the procedures that are considered the most rigorous. For example, for limited tendering reasons, procurements covered by NAFTA, CETA, WTO-AGP and CFTA, only the limited tendering reasons that are common to all four agreements are available as options.
  5. For assistance with the application of the trade agreements, contracting officers may contact the Trade Agreement Unit of the Strategic Policy Sector, either by telephone at 819-420-1710, or by e-mail at