Canada releases summary report on first gender-based analysis plus of free trade agreement

News release

August 23, 2019 - Ottawa, Canada - Global Affairs Canada

Trade creates wealth and jobs, and Canada is committed to ensuring that everyone can share in that prosperity, including traditionally under-represented groups such as women, Indigenous peoples and small and medium-sized enterprises.

Today, Canada is proud to release the summary of the initial gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) conducted on a potential free trade agreement (FTA) between Canada and the South American trading bloc Mercosur. This is the first time such an analysis has been conducted on an ongoing free trade negotiation anywhere in the world.

GBA+ is an analytical process used to examine the potential impacts and opportunities of a government policy, plan, program or other initiative on diverse groups of people. GBA+ puts people at the heart of policy development.

At the launch of the Canada-Mercosur FTA negotiations in March 2018, Canada made a commitment to conduct an expanded impact assessment on the negotiations, including on gender and labour, leading to today’s initial report.

This GBA+ will inform the ongoing negotiations and help identify opportunities for adding new gender-responsive and -inclusive trade provisions across the FTA.

Global Affairs Canada welcomes Canadians’ feedback on the summary of the initial GBA+. 


“Many small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada, including those owned by women and Indigenous people, are facing unique challenges in accessing export opportunities. The gender-based analysis plus will help to ensure that Canada’s free trade agreements, such as the Canada-Mercosur agreement, address trade and economic development in a way that benefits more Canadians.”

- Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification

Quick facts

  • In June 2017, Canada became the first G20 country to include a trade and gender chapter within a trade agreement when it modernized its FTA with Chile. Since then, Canada has also included a dedicated trade and gender chapter in the modernized Canada-Israel FTA.

  • On March 9, 2018, Canada officially launched comprehensive FTA negotiations with the Mercosur countries: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

  • Canada is advancing its inclusive approach to trade in ongoing negotiations with the Pacific Alliance and Mercosur, including by seeking dedicated chapters and provisions on trade and gender, trade and Indigenous peoples, and small and medium-sized enterprises.

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Michael Jones
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Trade Diversification

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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