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Joseph Doris, Public Policy and Entrepreneurship Intern
CFIB’s latest report, Beyond the Big Border, shows that despite improvements at US and Canadian border agencies, some work remains before small businesses can say they are truly engaged in free trade.
Hidden fees and a lack of transparency have forced 60% of Canadian small businesses who trade with the US to increase their prices. More than one-third of small business owners said they would not have engaged in cross-border trade had they been fully aware of the costs.
However, the speed at border crossings has improved and the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) showed progress with accessibility, knowledge and how it treats customers.
How can you have a better cross-border trade experience?
The following tips are straight from small business owners surveyed for the report:
Other findings of note
To improve the flow of information for small businesses, CFIB recommends CBSA implement a fully integrated single-window initiative and provide access to all SMEs and/or at the very least re-introduce a website or webpage specifically directed at SMEs looking to import and export. The single-window approach is supported by 64% of Canadian small business owners.