Ottawa, August 7, 2013
Harper Government to Monitor Savings through New Tariff Relief for Canadian Consumers
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today announced that following a competitive bidding process, the Government of Canada has contracted Nielsen to monitor the level of savings for Canadian consumers through recently announced tariff relief measures.
On April 1, 2013, the Government removed tariffs on imported baby clothing and certain sports equipment, representing savings of $79 million per year for Canadian businesses.
“This tariff relief came with the expectation that businesses would fully pass these savings on, to benefit Canadian families,” said Minister Flaherty. “We have put an objective monitoring system in place and will report our findings to Canadians.”
Over the next year, Nielsen will be systematically verifying prices of a variety of products on which tariffs were eliminated on April 1, 2013. These products include baby clothing, ice skates, hockey equipment, skis, snowboards, golf clubs and other sporting goods. This undertaking will capture the price trend for items that benefited from the tariff relief as well as some items that did not, to test the link between tariff elimination and consumer prices. Nielsen will visit retail stores in Canada and the United States.
The Government has engaged the Retail Council of Canada and the Consumers’ Association of Canada on this project and will continue to consult them throughout the process.
“The Retail Council of Canada and its members have been active partners in this initiative from the outset and we support the Government’s efforts in monitoring the effect of these changes,” said Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO of the Retail Council of Canada.
“The Consumers’ Association of Canada supports the Government’s efforts to reduce tariffs and lower costs for consumers. We are pleased that the Government will be monitoring the effects of its tariff reductions and look forward to working with them throughout the process,” said Bruce Cran, President of the Consumers’ Association of Canada.
“Our Government is committed to helping Canadian families keep more of their hard-earned money,” said Minister Flaherty. “The new tariff relief our Government has introduced was clearly intended to benefit Canadian families through lower prices. We have committed to closely monitor how retailers and businesses will pass these savings on to consumers.”
Since 2009, the Government has eliminated close to 1,900 tariffs, providing more than $525 million in tariff relief annually to Canadian businesses.
For further information, media may contact:
Office of the Minister of Finance
Department of Finance