Decreasing Duties with eBay Canada
eBay Canada supports an increase to the de minimis threshold – the value of goods that can enter Canada by mail or courier before duty is assessed. At present, Canadians pay duty on any goods imported over $20, a rate first set in the mid-80s. Proof is working with eBay Canada to help translate a tough fiscal and trade issue into something both government and the Canadian public could understand.
While other organizations support an increase to the de minimis, eBay is in a unique position because their support for increasing the threshold would help the many Canadian small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) who use eBay as a platform to sell to fellow Canadians and export across the globe.
As such, Proof designed and implemented a full advocacy strategy which included:
- Government outreach and meetings, including Ministers and Opposition members
- An annual ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ reception allowing decision makers, business association leaders and other key stakeholders to meet with the Canadian SMBs engaging in e-commerce
- Policy and research efforts (both in house and managing external providers for polling and economic analysis) to gain key insights into the economic impacts of a change in the de minimis threshold
Media relations to help the issue reach government and the public alike, and utilizing media platforms to help explain the issue for Canadians
Proof successfully organized three eBay Entrepreneur of the Year receptions to date, securing award presenters from all three major federal political parties as well as the diplomatic community while ensuring strong turnout each year (even when competing with snow storms!).
Armed with data as a result of internal and external research efforts, Proof helped position eBay as a resource for numerous relevant Cabinet Ministers, leading to invitations to participate in events hosted by Ministers of Finance and of International Trade.
Among other ministerial meetings, Proof helped eBay play host to the former International Trade Minister Ed Fast and the current Minister of Small Business Bardish Chagger. In both bases, to highlight the effects the de minimis has on small businesses, eBay invited sellers to meet the ministers and tell them their concerns with the low de minimis directly.
On the media relations front, as well as drafting and securing an op-ed in the Financial Post, Proof secured significant coverage from CBC, including online coverage and two consecutive days on Power and Politics, where MPs from all three parties agreed the de minimis should increase. Media outreach also resulted in an in-depth piece in Macleans from Mike Moffatt, an economic advisor to Justin Trudeau.