Although NAFTA is one of the largest free trade agreements Canada has with another nation, there are other free trade agreements that benefit the country on a national and provincial level, such as with the Ukraine.
August 2018, marked the first anniversary of the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) coming into force. In October 2018, the federal government had the first CUFTA joint commission meeting in Ottawa.
“The Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement will enhance economic prosperity and job creation for both countries. Canada is committed to working continuously with the Ukraine to advance trade and investment opportunities for our respective businesses so they may better compete and succeed in global markets,” said Jim Carr, minister of international trade diversification.
At the meeting, Canadian and Ukrainian representatives discussed progress on the implementation of the agreement to further increase trade opportunities in sectors such as aerospace, agriculture and minerals.
Since 2015, Canada-Ukraine bilateral trade increased 37%, from $278 million to $381 million, due mainly to an increase in coal, fish and seafood, machinery parts and pet food exports from Canada to Ukraine.
When CUFTA came into force, it immediately eliminated tariffs on 86% of Canada’s exports to the country.
In 2017, after CUFTA came into force, Canada exported $268 million to the Ukraine, consisting mainly of coal ($175 million) and seafood ($26 million); imports totalled $112 million consisting of iron and steel ($30 million) and synthetic dye and pigments ($8.5 million).
Historically, on a provincial level, there are strong ties between the Ukraine and the prairie provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, as such, an import or export market between the three is to be expected.
“Manitoba’s total trade with Ukraine was $10.8 million in 2017, of which $6 million was exports…We look forward to continuing our partnership with Ukraine to promote mutual trade growth and create new opportunities,” said Blaine Pedersen, Manitoba minister of growth, enterprise and trade.
In 2017, Manitoba exported $6.3 million worth of goods to the Ukraine, while imports were roughly $4.8 million. The top export was agricultural implement manufacturing ($3.4 million) while the largest sources of imports were automobile and light-duty motor vehicle manufacturing ($3.8 million).
In comparison, Manitoba exported $9 billion in 2017 to the U.S. while importing $16.6 billion. Its main exports were fats and oils, aerospace vehicles and aerospace parts, and pharmaceuticals; main imports were construction machinery, agricultural implement manufacturing, and pesticides and agrichemicals.
Saskatchewan on the other hand imported $10.9 million of goods from the Ukraine in 2017 and exported $4 million. Imports consisted mainly of iron and steel ($2 million) and agricultural implement manufacturing ($1.4 million); while exports consisted mainly of agricultural implement manufacturing ($1.6 million).
In 2017, Saskatchewan imported $9.8 billion from the United States, consisting largely of oil and gas. It exported $15.4 billion to the U.S. largely in oil and gas, mineral mining, and fats and oils.