Note that even i60s are now available in the US as iShares even though Canada is a small player on the world market cap stage.
Bylo, although both are Canadian index investments there is a signifigant price diference 0.17% vs. 0.84% MER and they track different segments of the market.
Canadian product: S&P/TSE 60 Index, iUnit I60’s (XIU) MER 0.17%
American product: MSCI Canada Index, iShare Canada (EWU) MER 0.84%
Construction of the MSCI country equity indices
Is that important? It's hard to imagine that the equivalent of any but the most obscure ETFs that would be launched overseas wouldn't soon be listed in New York. After all, the US is the largest market for the likes of BGI and SSgA.
Canada is getting a selection of new ETF’s for the local market and at some point the UK , Japan and Germany may do likewise. These markets also have stock concentration problems that could be partially managed with a larger selection of ETF's.
I doubt that the new Canadian ETF’s will trade in the US and if an American wanted one they would have to buy it on the TSE. If Canada is any example even when there is an American version of a foreign ETF, the local version may have a much lower MER.
The reason for the US exemption is that their tax regime is similar to ours and that their authorities share information with ours. That's apparently not the case in countries like the UK and Germany, let alone "tax-havens."
Canada has tax treaties with the UK, Germany, Japan and most other countries. Surely if Finance Canada put as much effort into exchanging information with these countries as they do in writting misguided legislation they could get any reporting issues worked out.
I personally do not think they are trying hard enough to accomodate Canadians investors and allow free access to all markets. They said they had good reason not to exempt the US and we know how vaild that turned out to be. It would not surprise me if their reasoning is just as weak when it comes to many other counties. The UK and Germany are not “Tax Havens” and Finance is still using a shotgun to do a snipers job.