Theoretically, everyone would like to be completely self sufficient and never have to rely on another person or country to supply them with what they need, but the fact of the matter is that some locales or cultures are much better at making certain things than others. International cooperation through trade means that we don't have to try to be experts of all trades. Instead, we can focus on what we're best at, sell the excess elsewhere, and use the proceeds to buy what we haven't made ourselves. That's the beauty of international trade. If you're looking to learn more about international trade in Canada, you've come to the right place.
International trade isn't really as simple as we've made it seem above, especially not when you're a first world power like Canada. Many businesses engage in international trade because it's cheaper than manufacturing the same product here in Canada. This is why so much of our clothing and consumer goods are manufactured in places like China, Bangladesh, and Taiwan. People in these countries will work for less and are often less concerned by the environmental impact of the factories. This saves Canadian environments but at the expense of Canadian jobs, which is where a lot of the basis of opposition to international trade is found.
Buying and selling goods from another country adds another dimension of complexity to any business deal. For instance, there may be trade tariffs imposed by the Canadian government or the government of the country you're buying from that protect certain industries, such as lumber, from international exploitation, which will need to be paid in order to import or export the goods. There are also transportation issues to deal with and customs fees and inspections that need to be done in order to get the goods legally into the country. However, in many cases the effort is still worth the financial gain to be had from international deals.
Canada has international trade arrangements with many countries all over the world. Over two thirds of our GNP or gross national product comes from trade. The NAFTA agreement gives North American countries free reign to trade with each other. In fact, the United States is Canada's biggest trade partner, with over 70% of exports and 50% of imports. Canada also does a lot of business with China, the United Kingdom, Japan, Mexico, Germany, the Netherlands, South Korea, Vietnam, France, Algeria, and Norway, so trade routes with these countries are well established.
If you think your business might benefit from international expansion, there's a lot of information on this website that can help you figure out which countries are the best trading partners, which laws and agreements will help you save time and money on your imports and exports, and which methods of transporting goods are the most economical and timely. If you think it is time to make an investment in Ontario and move your company and employees to the GTA, we also have a number of resources for you. Try starting here