OTTAWA - The federal government is taking immediate steps to remove some regulatory barriers to trade across the country, hoping to persuade provinces to follow its example.

For starters, it is making the national building code free, making it easier for the construction industry to access a single set of rules and hoping the provinces pick them up. Even downloading the code has cost $350.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is preparing to hold a first ministers' meeting next week, at which eliminating interprovincial trade barriers is high on the agenda.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc says the federal government is focusing on areas where it can act quickly to remove regulatory hurdles that impede trade between provinces and territories and add unnecessary costs to businesses.

Besides making the building code free, the government is amending federal energy-efficiency regulations for household appliances, clarifying food labelling rules and modernizing meat inspection regulations.

And it is expanding the federal definition of what constitutes vodka to include vodka made from something other than potatoes or grain.