NorthBridge Consultants Blog

USMCA Trade Deal Reached After Year of Intense Negotiations

Details about the newly renegotiated United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) have been released.  This proposal, if ratified, will address disputes in the Canadian automotive and agricultural sectors, the cost of generic drugs in Canada, and online eCommerce.  It does not currently address national security tariffs, but preserves the dispute resolution process from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

News of the USMCA deal sent the Canadian dollar soaring on Monday.  The announcement of the USMCA deal may remove the uncertainty that was  preventing the Bank of Canada from hiking interest rates.  It is anticipated that the Bank of Canada will increase interest rates during the next policy announcement on October the 24th.  Details of the USMCA proposal will be summarized below.

Automotive sector- Trump has agreed that no hard limit will be placed on Canadian automotive exports to the United States.

Agricultural sector- American farmers will gain greater access (3.6 percent) of Canada’s current dairy market, and Canada will dismantle the “Class 7” dairy ingredient (lower) pricing strategy for protein concentrates, skim milk, and whole milk powder, that  discourages foreign competition in the Canadian market.  The Americans will gain more than twice the market access to the Canadian chicken industry than what was previously negotiated in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as well as increased access into the Canadian egg and poultry markets.  However, no major concessions will be made on the import and export of beef, pork, and grain.

eCommerce- The threshold of American goods Canadians can purchase online or via mail order without paying duties increases from $20 to $150.  American online and mail-order businesses expect to gain increased market share in Canada.

Prescription drugs- Canada has agreed to extend patent protection for biological pharmaceutical drugs from 8 to 10 years, which means that it will take longer for generic versions of new biological drugs to become available to the Canadian public.  Canada’s diminished control over the price of biologics may potentially pose a fresh challenge for the creation of a national pharmacare plan.

National security tariffs- During the summer, Trump announced that Canada would be subject to tariffs on steel and aluminum.  No agreement has been reached on the removal of these tariffs yet.

Dispute resolution- Trudeau was unequivocal about its inclusion of Chapter 19  in any new pact, which was ultimately agreed upon by the Americans despite protest from US negotiator Robert Lighthizer.  Chapter 19 from the NAFTA agreement spells out the process for companies to request arbitration if they feel that their products have been unfairly impacted by anti-dumping or countervailing duties.  

Canada’s Tech Week: Elevate TechFest 2018

Elevate Techfest, Canada’s largest technology and innovation festival, takes over downtown Toronto from Sept 22 – 27 with a full week of events featuring inspiring speakers, content tracks, and networking events.

It was kicked off this Friday with a three day Hackathon that aims to “tap into our countries collective intelligence and create solutions around some of the toughest urban problems.”  500 hackers, including a mix of students and early career professionals, the youngest being just 7 years old, gathered at Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District for the opportunity to win a total of $18,000 by creating the innovative building blocks of a Smart City…”a fully connected urban center that uses technology to improve financial security, housing affordability, environmental sustainability, communication, as well as social and economic equality for its citizens.”

The Hackathon consisted of three main challenges focused on smart economy, connected communities and vibrant living. The first prize winners, StableHacks, took $10,000 and were selected based on a criteria of innovation, impact, use of data & technology and alignment with the challenge as well as data privacy and feasibility.

This week, Keynote speakers such as Al Gore, Whitney Wolfe Herd and Wyclef Jean will take the main stage on Tuesday September 25th to discuss the role of technology and collaboration in shaping the future. Beyond the stage, Elevate will be hosting the Corporate Buyer Zone and the Investor Zone, the ElevateR Pitch, and an exclusive Access Lounge.

More than 10 dedicated Elevate Educate content tracks will be hosted on Wednesday September 26th at various Elevate Village venues throughout downtown Toronto. Each track features a full day of curated programming and networking opportunities in fields such as Artificial Intelligence, Health, Cannabis, Retail, Fintech, and Blockchain.

The Toronto tech and innovation community will be opening its doors on Thursday, September 27, with Elevate Talent, giving participants a mix of programming and behind the scenes access to some of the world’s most innovative companies, founders and thought leaders.

This Year, Elevate is expected to draw over 10,000 guests from investors, government and media to youth, scale ups and talent to “disrupt together, celebrate diversity and inclusiveness, and proudly showcase the best of Canadian innovation.”

 

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Vancouver Lunch & Learn at Fort Tectoria – Government Funding for R&D, Innovation and Growth

Lunch & Learn about maximizing government funding through the various stages of corporate development

Date: Thursday, September 27, 2018
Doors: 11:45 am
Presentation and Q&A: 12 –1:30 pm
Location: Fort Tectoria – 777 Fort St
Register

There are many Government Funding programs available to assist Canadian businesses with expenses related to R&D, new product development, manufacturing process improvements, tapping into international markets and workforce development.

Join this lunch & learn to learn about some of these programs, how they fit in the difference stages of your corporate development, and also about the limitations of government funding and the need for alternate sources of working capital.

Some of the funding programs covered include:

  • SR&ED (Scientific Research & Experimental Development)
  • IRAP (Industrial Research Assistance Program)
  • Innovative Solutions Canada
  • Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS)
  • BCIP (Build in Canada Innovation Program)
  • SDTC (Sustainable Development Technology Canada)
  • Canada Agriculture Partnership / Agri-Innovation
  • Engage, CRD, Mitacs (grants for working with universities)
  • CanExport
  • Eureka, GGI, CIIP (International research collaboration)
  • Hiring & Training Grants

 

A light lunch will be provided.

Please register by email to jaap@northbridgeconsultants.com.

 

About the presenter: Jaap Siekman MSc, PEng, PMP

Jaap is an independent business advisor and representative for NorthBridge Consultants. He educates start-ups and growing companies on Government Funding programs that support R&D and Innovation in Canada.

NorthBridge is a national consultancy firm, with offices in BC, ON and QC.

Jaap has ~28 years’ experience in Engineering, Manufacturing, Product Development and Management in a variety of industries.

Contact:
Ph: 604.562.5209
E: jaap@northbridgeconsultants.com

 

Canadian Agricultural Partnership- Second Intake for Ontario Applications Opening Soon

The new Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), launched in April 2018, is a five-year, $3B federal-provincial-territorial agreement providing funding to agri-processors.

The second Ontario CAP application intake for producers, processors, and other Agri businesses will be opening from August 7 – 28, 2018.

Provincial CAP programs are being rolled out on a cost-shared (60:40) basis. Ontario’s CAP program offers various streams for agri-producers, processors and other businesses. For example, Ontario processors can apply for funding of up to:

  • $250K for integrating new or novel technological and equipment upgrades (defined as having been adopted by less than 20% of the sector in Ontario, to date) to improve labour productivity.
  • $100K for integrating Enterprise Resource Planning software.

Additional Ontario CAP streams are available to agri-processors to support other activities/initiatives, such as:

  • Food safety and traceability equipment.
  • Ingredient efficiency and waste reduction.
  • Marketing of products outside of Canada and internationally.
  • Monitoring plant pest and treat equipment and training.
  • Improving animal housing, and animal handling equipment with technology.

Is your company looking for funding to support innovation and business growth initiatives? Contact us today to find out how much funding your company could receive.

Bridging the Commercialization Gap- Funding Opportunities

Is your company investing heavily in R&D but struggling to commercialize your innovations?

Read our latest Excellence in Manufacturing blog series to learn about various non-dilutive financing options available to Canadian companies that can help close the gap between performing R&D to commercialization in the ICT, Manufacturing, and Agri-food sectors.

To learn more about various funding options that can help your company to innovate and grow, contact us today to arrange for a free, no obligation consultation with one of our government funding experts.

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  • NorthBridge Consultants' Government Funding Blog is dedicated to bringing businesses news and information to help them identify and access the most appropriate government funding programs.

    We offer opinions and insider information that can provide a pulse on government initiatives, the health of the Canadian economy, and firsthand thoughts from Canadian business owners.

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