eBay CEO expected to push Trudeau on duty threshold


When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sits down with eBay CEO Devin Wenig in San Francisco on Thursday, there is one divisive issue that is expected to come up.

The online sales giant has been pushing Canada to boost its de minimis threshold — the value of goods Canadians can bring into Canada without incurring duties — which would make it cheaper for Canadians to shop online. 

The Trump administration has made a similar demand by including the pitch in its NAFTA wish list, asking Canada to raise the level from $20 to $800.

The de minimis threshold may not be talked about much publicly, even though it affects online shoppers.

But two government sources suggest there are no plans in the immediate future to make any changes. 

One source suggested the issue is too toxic, given the anticipated backlash from Canadian retailers. 

Amazon’s new headquarters

Last month, the Retail Council of Canada released a study that suggested hundreds of thousands of jobs could be lost if the threshold is raised. 

Trudeau’s meeting with Wenig is just one of several high-profile discussions the prime minister has on his agenda for the day, the second of his four-day trip to the U.S.  Trudeau is using the trip to promote NAFTA and look for new investment opportunities. 

He will also meet with Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, as that tech giant searches for a second headquarters. 

Toronto is the only Canadian city among 20 locations in the running to land the $5 billion facility. 

One senior source downplayed the idea Trudeau is using the meeting to aggressively lobby Bezos on Toronto’s behalf. The source said instead, Trudeau will use this meeting to highlight other investment opportunities in Canada. 


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