Trade Policy Objectives
In seeking the most favourable conditions for Canadian businesses and consumers in the global digital economy, Industry Canada emphasises a few key objectives that are essential to achieving this goal.
First, the need to establish and maintain legal and policy ground rules for online commerce and electronic trade and facilitate agreements between jurisdictions on like approaches to domestic policy. It is notably important to ensure that equivalent treatment is provided for digital and non-digital transactions in a consistent and predictable manner.
Second, Industry Canada advocates trade liberalization of goods and services relevant to electronic commerce such as in the information and communications technology sector. Increased volume of cross-border trade through electronic commerce will increase growth prospects and economic benefits.
More specifically, we support the growth of electronic commerce worldwide through:
- Transparent and non-discriminatory policy, legislative and regulatory measures;
- Intergovernmental cooperation to ensure the creation of an environment conducive to uniform electronic commerce development;
- Recognition that existing WTO Agreements apply to electronic commerce as a means of doing business;
- Consistent with the Ottawa Taxation Framework Conditions developed by the OECD, the application to electronic commerce of the principles of neutrality, efficiency, certainty and simplicity, effectiveness and fairness, and flexibility; and
- Support for making permanent and binding the current World Trade Organization (WTO) practice of not imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions.
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