Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced over the weekend that the federal government will eliminate 70 tariff items to help the nation's manufacturing base. This reduction in tariffs will equal to approximately $32 million.
Since 2009, the government has removed 1,800 tariffs and saved businesses $435 million annually.
As a way to stimulate the economy and battle the recession, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper imposed Canada’s Economic Action Plan. Part of this plan included the elimination of all tariffs on imported equipment and manufacturing inputs by 2015; making Canada a “tariff-free zone.”
On Sunday, Conservative Member of Parliament and Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty announced in a press release the federal government will be eliminating 70 tariffs, which will affect a variety of sectors, but primarily focus on Canada’s manufacturing base.
The tariff relief will benefit items such as apparel, footwear, food processing and electrical equipment. The tariff eradication’s goal is to enhance competition and reduce production costs for business.
“This builds on our Government’s commitment in Budget 2010 to make Canada a tariff-free zone for industrial manufacturers,” said Flaherty. “By lowering costs for these businesses, we are enhancing their ability to compete in domestic and foreign markets and helping them invest and create jobs here at home. This measure acts on our Government’s commitments under our low-tax plan for jobs and growth and reinforces our G-20 leadership in the fight against protectionism.”
Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan told CBC News that it is “relatively small in the overall scheme of things,” but noted the positive developments for business.
This comes as Flaherty recently told a news outlet that he plans to introduce legislation that would give the federal government the authority to approve or cancel planned purchases by the nation’s top financial institutions.
Flaherty’s bill, he says, would ensure that they maintain “sound management practices.”