Free trade agreements remove barriers to trade and create a safer and more reliable trading environment for investors. Improving the flow of goods and services helps create a strong and diversified economy that allows B.C. businesses to grow their businesses and create good jobs and opportunities in every corner of the province. British Columbia is a strong supporter of rules-based trade in Canada and abroad and recognizes its many benefits to B.C individuals and businesses. Canada is conducting exploratory discussions on bilateral or multilateral free trade agreements with the following countries and trading blocs, although formal negotiations have not yet begun. The North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico entered into force on January 1, 1994 and created the world`s largest free trade region by GDP. In 2014, the combined GDP for NAFTA was estimated at more than $20 trillion, with a market of 474 million people.   Building on this success, Canada continues to negotiate and conclude free trade agreements with more than 40 countries, most recently with South Korea, which is Canada`s first free trade agreement with a partner in the Asia-Pacific region. Beginning in 2018, Canada also concluded two other important multilateral trade agreements: the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union and the Eleven-Nation Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) with ten other Pacific countries.  On September 21, 2017, CETA was provisionally applied, which immediately eliminated 98% of the Union`s tariffs on Canadian products.
 Canada is currently the only G7 country to have free trade agreements with all other G7 countries. Free trade with the last G7 country, Japan, began with the entry into force of the CPTPP on 30 December 2018. Global Free Trade Rules Unlike the AIT, the CFTA rules automatically apply to almost all areas of economic activity in Canada, with clearly identified exceptions.