Need to Know – Partner Info for Small Business

Need to Know – Partner Info for Small Business

Question on Trade?

If you have a question about doing business abroad, you can send it by email to the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS). A member of its global network—in 150 cities worldwide—will reply to you directly.

One firm writes, for example, that it intends to have a new product made in China and imported back to Canada, for resale in both the U.S. and Canada.

Should I bring all inventory into Canada, then ship to the U.S. myself, or should I ship to the U.S. directly from China?

A trade commissioner in Beijing answers that since the product is being made in China it does not qualify under NAFTA rules of origin, which is only for goods originating in Canada, the U.S. or Mexico.

Your product will enter the U.S. under the U.S. general rate which in Canada we refer to as the “most favoured nation” (MFN) rate. This tariff rate of 2.7 per cent will apply whether or not the goods enter the U.S. directly from China or if they are trans-shipped through Canada. So from a tariffs perspective there is no advantage or disadvantage to either shipping option.

Find other helpful Q&As at

Email your question to

TCS will contact you before posting your question online (unless you indicate you don’t want it posted).

After an Acquisition

The first months after an acquisition are crucial for integrating a new business, says BDC Consulting Partner Gail Blanchette, who offers the following tips:

  1. Meet your new people. Hold a group meeting as soon as possible with your new employees—either in person, video-call or web-conferencing—to reduce their fears. “People need to hear the same thing together so that the message doesn’t get misinterpreted around the company,” Blanchette says. But don’t promise more than you can deliver.
  2. Introduce yourself to customers. A change in ownership might be seen as a sign of weakness. Think carefully about how you want to introduce yourself to customers and suppliers. If you’re planning changes, call and meet them as soon as possible.
  3. Know the business better. Perform a high-level examination of the business, using a consultant or your accountant to help. Look at whether things are operating as efficiently as you thought and if the company is achieving the financial results you expected. If there are pressing issues, such as renewing a contract, this analysis will help you make a better informed decision.

In addition, focus on developing your own strategy for running the business, not necessarily how it was done in the past; and communicate often to help overcome people’s natural resistance to change.

Adapted from the Business Development Bank of Canada ( In Business newsletter.

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