Canadian Small Businesses Urge PM Trudeau to Update Trade Rules

Nearly 100% of Canadian-, American-, and Mexican-based small businesses using eBay export to customers across the continent and globe. Thus, it comes as no surprise that eBay and its seller community believe policymakers should use intraregional dialogues to promote small internet-enabled retail exports.

That’s why a dozen Canadian-based eBay small businesses came together to send a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to urge him and the Canadian government to support small ecommerce exporters as they head into the North America Leaders’ Summit next week. 

In their letter, the Canadian small business owners urged Prime Minister Trudeau to update Canada’s de minimis threshold, or the threshold below which low-value shipments can enter Canada exempt from burdensome customs processes, duties and taxes. The de minimis threshold impacts how Canadian small businesses can accept retail returns or source inventory. Canada’s threshold is currently C$20 – a level that was originally set in the early 1980’s — the United States, by comparison, has recently updated its threshold to $800 USD. 

Research conducted by Sidley Austin has found that the Canadian government spends more to collect duty on small value goods than the amount actually collected.  Under every scenario studied, the research shows that businesses, consumers, and government stand to gain greatly from an increase to Canada’s de minimis threshold.  Notably, the savings could be as great as $170 million for the Canadian government.

As leaders from across North America meet next week in Ottawa, eBay and its small business community urge lawmakers to consider how trade facilitation policies – especially Canada’s low de minimis threshold – impact small eRetailers and to champion policies that promote small business exporting across the continent.