APEC’s 2016 report, Trade Barriers in Atlantic Canada: Opportunities for Regulatory Reform, documents the importance of interprovincial trade in Atlantic Canada, provides a synopsis of the key trade and regulatory barriers facing Atlantic firms, and identifies specific opportunities for reform to reduce the regulatory burden on Atlantic firms.
The report concludes that firms in Atlantic Canada face a small market that is further fragmented by provincial borders and differing standards and regulations. These barriers increase costs, reduce efficiency, lower revenue and reduce investment. Reducing these barriers and reforming the regulatory environment has the potential to boost the region’s output, which is especially important given the region’s economic, demographic and fiscal outlook.
APEC recommends that Atlantic regulatory reform prioritize the areas with the largest economic impact and identified a number of areas that need attention, including truck transportation, labour standards, corporate registrations, safety standards and production and sale of alcoholic beverages. There are also opportunities to reform government procurement and facilitate labour mobility.
APEC also recommends and effective and comprehensive trade, regulatory and cooopration agreement among the four Atlantic provinces to supplement and complement the work of regulatory reform in specific areas. APEC's 2018 report provides a detailed proposal in this regard.