Importing from USA to Canada
Amanda just bought some bras from Victoria's Secret online and they charged 31% tax, which seemed like too much. I sent them an email and they claimed that it was HST + Duties and assured me that "All monies collected are forwarded to the proper Canadian authorities".
A quick search claims that duty on lingerie from U.K. to Canada is 18%, but what about from the USA, and what about free trade?
There is a bunch of detail here. This guy says that NAFTA only applies to goods that were manufactured inside NAFTA, so if Victoria's Secret manufactures in China (like everything) then duty does apply.
From the latest Canadian Government Tariff Files (sidebar on right), you can select PDF format; By Chapter — T2012 which gives a list of chapters such as "Section XI: Textiles and Textile Articles" which contains 62. Articles of apparel and clothing accessories, not knitted or crocheted (PDF, 132 KB) which contains 6212.10.00 - Brassieres, 18%.
Sure enough 18% Duty + 13% HST = 31% Tax. So much for free trade.