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International Trade

The Canadian Apparel Federation (CAF)  provides important international trade resources to its members. We keep our members informed with the most up-to-date information on trade policy, tariffs, customs administration, and other issues. This reduces costs to our members on imports and exports and helps them remain competitive.

Historically, CAF has focussed our efforts on tariffs on raw materials. In 2010, the Canadian government announced the elimination of all import duties on raw materials. This measure alone saves Canadian companies tens of millions of dollars on an annual basis. In more recent years the Canadian industry has balanced its domestic exports with production in other countries to maintain their position as preferred suppliers on the world stage.

CAF is dedicated to creating positive change for the industry by changing harmful policies. Our ongoing lobbying efforts have secured tangible benefits for the industry, including:

  • A successful USMCA negotiation between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, including the retention of essential NAFTA provisions such as TPLs, which allow Canadian exporters to use third-party fabrics in their products while still qualifying under the new agreement.

  • Similarly, CAF played an active role in negotiations for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the UK. We lobbied successfully for increased origin quotas for apparel and textile products. These provisions, similar to TPLs in NAFTA, allow Canadian exporters to use third-party fabrics in their products while still qualifying for duty-free access to the UK market.

  • CAF advised Finance Canada officials on recent amendments to the rules of origin under Canada’s tariff regime for least developed countries (LDCs). We also held several webinars hosted by the lead auditor for the LDC program to assist members in encountering new challenges with audits.

  • Annual savings totaling over $50 million thanks to the elimination of duties on imported textiles; achieved through the establishment of an ongoing reference at the Canadian International Trade Tribunal and finally in the 2010 Federal Budget. 

  • Federal government support for export marketing initiatives.

  • Government commitment in February 2004 to reduce duties by $26.7 million over three years.

We continue to monitor developments surrounding North American free trade, CP-TPP, Canada-China free trade and many other pressing trade issues.

Useful Links

  • Exports - information and links to resources on exports provided by CAF and partner organizations such as Export Development Canada (EDC)
  • International Trade Updates
  • Imports - information and resources on key import procedures
  • Trade Agreements - information on the major trade agreements  - featuring textile and apparel provisions

Note: Some pages are available only to Canadian Apparel Federation Members.

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