Should books and other consumer goods be exempt from import duties?
The discrepancy more than makes up for a difference in exchange rates; importers can charge an additional 10 per cent in part to offset the cost of shipping and distributing books across this vast nation of ours.
Duties and fees also add to the cost, says Carol Osmond, vice-president of policy with the Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters.
Consumers goods such as books, skates and athletic shoes are subject to tariffs of up to 18 per cent, unlike equipment and other items needed for manufacturing, which are exempt, Osmond said.
"The duty rates are left over from an era when we were attempting to protect Canadian manufacturers," Osmond said. "But who are we protecting today? And do they need it?"
Osmond and other industry representatives are testifying before a Senate national finance committee studying the differences in prices for consumer goods between Canada and the U.S.
Should the government eliminate such duties on consumer goods? Why or why not? How do you react when you see different American and Canadian prices on goods like books, magazines and greeting cards? Share your thoughts in the field below.
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
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