Minister Carr in Washington to discuss rules-based trade and World Trade Organization reform

News release

May 7, 2019 - Washington, D.C. - Global Affairs Canada

Canada’s trade diversification strategy is focused on securing access to new markets and supporting Canadian businesses of all sizes to reach new customers abroad in order to create jobs for the Canadian middle class here at home. 

Today in Washington, D.C., the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, discussed Canada’s long-standing commitment to the rules-based international trade system and its deep ties to the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. He also engaged with industry stakeholders on Canada-United States trade issues.

In a round-table discussion with thought leaders on World Trade Organization (WTO) reform, Minister Carr underscored Canada’s ongoing commitment to improving the multilateral trading system. He exchanged views on ways to modernize the WTO, which supports a rules-based system and contributes to global prosperity.

Later in the day at the 49th Washington Conference on the Americas hosted by the Council of the Americas and the U.S. Department of State, the Minister will speak of Canada’s leadership in advancing meaningful and pragmatic improvements to the WTO. He will also elaborate on Canada’s long-standing people-to-people, cultural, trade and investment ties to the Americas.


“Canada’s relationship with the Americas is an enduring one because of the deep ties between our people and the growing trade ties that contribute to our mutual success. It is important that together we support efforts to modernize the World Trade Organization so it reflects the realities of a trading system of the 21st century. Canada’s engagement with the Americas will continue to be a priority for our government, providing new opportunities for economic growth and prosperity across the hemisphere.”

    - Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification

Quick facts

  • WTO

    • Canada hosted ministers from 12 WTO member states at the Ottawa Ministerial on WTO Reform on October 24 and 25, 2018, and led a similar meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on January 24, 2019.
  • Canada and the Americas

    • Canada’s engagement in Latin America and the Caribbean region centres around:
      • promoting democracy, human rights, inclusion and diversity
      • supporting inclusive growth and poverty eradication
      • supporting climate change mitigation and adaptation
      • improving regional security
    • Canada’s international assistance in Latin America and the Caribbean focuses on the empowerment of women and girls and the advancement of a progressive, feminist agenda that promotes human rights, prosperity, resilience and democratic governance.
    • Canada has seven free trade agreements in Latin America, with Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, Peru and Mexico.
    • Canada is also pursuing free trade negotiations with two of the most important economic blocs in Latin America: Mercosur, composed of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay; and the Pacific Alliance, composed of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.
  • Canadian trade

    • Canada has 14 free trade agreements in place with 51 individual countries which, in 2018, collectively had an estimated population of just under 1.5 billion people and an estimated gross domestic product (GDP) of almost US$52.4 trillion (Can$67.8 trillion).
    • Canada and the United States have one of the largest trading relationships in the world. Canada is the largest export market for the United States—larger than China, Japan and the United Kingdom combined.
    • The globally competitive regional market created under the original North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994 today accounts for more than 489 million consumers and a combined GDP of more than US$23.4 trillion (Can$30.4 trillion).

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