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Canada's international merchandise trade by free trade agreement

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Released: 2019-09-04

Today, Statistics Canada is releasing the infographic "A look at free trade in Canada," which illustrates import and export statistics with the countries or groups of countries with which Canada has free trade agreements in force.

Also released today are data for Canada's international merchandise trade with countries and country groups involved in a free trade agreement with Canada. These agreements can be in various stages of negotiation, ranging from discussions to agreements that are in force.

As of September 2019, Global Affairs Canada listed 31 free trade agreements in various stages of negotiation. Twenty of these are with individual countries, while the remaining 11 are with groups of countries. Some countries are part of more than one free trade agreement with Canada.

Fourteen free trade agreements have been ratified by the Canadian government and are currently in force. Taken together, these agreements represented $507.8 billion in imports and $533.7 billion in exports in 2018, for a net export surplus of $25.9 billion. By way of comparison, in the same year, Canada's total imports with the world were $596.0 billion, while total exports were $584.1 billion, for a net export deficit of $11.9 billion.

Monthly customs data for Canada's international merchandise trade by free trade agreement for the period from January 1988 to July 2019 are now available in table 12-10-0140-01. These data will be updated every month. Import and export data for each free trade agreement are available, as well as the value of trade by section, division and group of the North American Product Classification System 2017. These data are included in "The International Trade Explorer," also released today.

  Note to readers

The data presented in this article are on a customs basis.

Customs-based trade in goods data aim to capture the movement of merchandise across the Canadian border, both outgoing (exports) and incoming (imports). In other words, this approach measures the two-way physical flow of commodities crossing economic territories.

For customs-basis imports, the country within which the good was grown, extracted or manufactured, known as the country of origin, determines the trading partner. For customs-basis exports, the final destination known to the Canadian exporter determines the trading partner.

The "total trade" variable was calculated by adding import values to export values. The "net export" variable was calculated by subtracting import from export values.

Chile, Mexico and Peru are members of more than one free trade agreement in force. Therefore, the value of Canada's trade with each of these countries is included twice in the total value of all Canada's free trade agreements in force.

More information about Canada's free trade agreements, including the member countries for each group and the status of the agreements, can be found on Global Affairs Canada's website.

Data source

The data for this paper were drawn from the new table 12-10-0140-01, which contains monthly data on Canada's international merchandise trade by free trade agreement.


The infographic "A look at free trade in Canada" is now available as part of Statistics Canada — Infographics (Catalogue number11-627-M).

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300;

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Nita Boushey (613-404-4965;, International Accounts and Trade Division.

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