In the economic realm, France practised a policy of protectionism: the goal was to limit foreign imports and increase exports so as to achieve a positive trade balance. Under this system, the colonies were expected to supply the mother country with needed raw materials and provide a market for its manufactured goods. This meant that all the products purchased, owned or sold by the inhabitants of New France had to be French, and that all commerce with the neighbouring English colonies was prohibited. Despite repeated bans, however, and heavy fines, smuggling between New France and New England was common.

Letter from the Governor General Charles de Beauharnois de La Boische to a Governor of New England denouncing the entry into New France of English traders for the purpose of smuggling, June 20, 1738
CA ANC MG18-G6 2 p. 562-564