NAFTA and the Trans Pacific Partnership What do they mean for your Employees Travelling internationally
The low Canadian dollar and a robust US economy make this a perfect time for many Canadian companies to do business with our neighbors to the south. Toes the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) simplified cross-border trade and, as a result, thousands of BC companies do business Will the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade deal (TPP) give your team from sales to service people to executives, the ability to work in any country signing onto the deal?
NAFTA has made going to Seattle and all of the US fairly easy, allowing BC companies from Lululemon Athletica, Teck Resources to Ledcor to have their head offices in Vancouver but to grow their businesses in the US as well. The TPP, which is not without controversy, may springboard the growth of these and hundreds of other BC companies into not only North American but global leaders.
The TPP will allow Canadian companies to easily do business in Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The US is also a signatory to the agreement, but the US Election may put their participation in doubt. Canada has promised a full parliamentary debate before we ratify the agreement, and it becomes law. I would urge people to find out more about the deal for their industries and areas of interest from pharmaceutical drug patents to agriculture trade issues. For this article, we are only going to examine what these agreements mean for Business Visitors.
An examination of NAFTA, the TPP and our current agreements with these countries show us that Business Visitors have excellent access to visit and start to explore doing business in these markets. Additionally, the TPP has broad allowances to let many professions work in some of the countries, similar to NAFTA Professionals. The NAFTA Professionals category that allows over 30 professions to work in Canada or the US including Nurses and College Instructors.
The interesting part of the TPP is Brunei only allows the exchange of Petroleum Engineers (a category that Canada has too many of at the moment) and many countries like Australia, Japan and Mexico broad categories of both Professionals and Trades People. Additionally, Inter-Company Transferees allow Management to move easily between the TPP countries and stay and live for up to three years.
It appears the Federal Government will “not require labour certification tests or other procedures of similar intent as a condition for temporary entry.” Meaning that Electricians from Australia, Chile, Peru and Mexico will be able to come easily and work in Canada. Provinces may have different requirements, but Citizenship and Immigration will not be able to stop them at the border if they have qualifications and experience from their home country.
The movement of employees under the TPP will take the knowledge of Immigration Lawyers, HR Professionals and Recruiters to navigate both the legal and company requirements of moving between countries. The results for companies that world leaders will be better access to 8 Countries where free trade deals do not exist. Canadian’s who are experts in their field will be able to lead, train and teach professionals around the world and BC will be stronger because of it.