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Exempting online US retailers from Canadian taxes and duties would hurt, not help local SMEs

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CFIB disputes C.D. Howe report on raising the de minimis threshold

Toronto, June 23, 2016 – Raising the de minimis threshold – the maximum price an imported product can be worth before being subject to sales taxes or duties – would hurt Canadian small retailers and put them at a strong competitive disadvantage, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

Earlier today, the C.D. Howe Institute released a report supporting an increase in the threshold to $80, $100, or $200.

“I had a good laugh reading the claim that Canadian small- and medium-sized firms would be the big winners by raising the de minimis threshold for American online retail sales. This would mean a Canadian firm would have to pay duties and charge as much as 15 per cent sales taxes while US online retailers would be exempt,” said Dan Kelly, CFIB president. “How is creating a competitive disadvantage for Canadian businesses in the national interest?”

“We’re all for leveling the playing field – but let’s make sure it’s truly level. Small firms are strong supporters of free, but fair, trade, but if we’re going to raise the de minimis threshold, let’s exempt sales taxes and duties for Canadian retail sales on all items $200 or less,” added Kelly.

To arrange an interview with Dan Kelly, please contact Ryan Mallough at 416-222-8022, 647-464-2814 or [email protected].

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.