CAN-CHINA FTA: Federal report fuels concerns . . .

CAN-CHINA FTA: Federal report fuels concerns . . .

Postby Oscar » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:45 am

Federal report fuels concerns about free trade with China

[ https://ipolitics.ca/2017/11/12/federal ... ade-china/ ]

By Canadian Press. Published on Nov 12, 2017 3:20 pm

A sweeping federal report shows that Canadian businesses aren’t sure a free trade pact will solve all the concerns they have about dealing with China.

The newly released report summarizes the issues that more than 600 businesses, academics and civil society groups believed must be resolved before Canada signs a free trade deal with China.

Among those concerns was that further liberalizing trade could kill Canadian businesses and jobs as companies can’t compete because of lax labour standards, lower environmental requirements, and state subsidies in China, the report says.

These Canadian groups were adamant that failing to address these issues would only further the hollowing out of the Canadian manufacturing sector.

There was skepticism that a free trade deal could “meaningfully address the full spectrum of challenges faced by Canadian businesses trading with China,” the report said.

Stakeholders said any trade pact needed a robust dispute resolution mechanism to ease concerns about the Chinese government’s “willingness or ability” to adhere to obligations under any future agreement.

China is the world’s second-largest economy, and already a top trading country for Canada.

Widening that trade relationship has been the subject of exploratory talks this year, which the government describes as a way to “test the waters” to see if there is enough common ground to launch full-fledged negotiations.

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[ https://ipolitics.ca/2017/11/12/federal ... ade-china/ ]
Oscar
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Re: CAN-CHINA FTA: Federal report fuels concerns . . .

Postby Oscar » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:38 am

Trudeau government set to launch Canada-China Free Trade Agreement talks in December

[ https://canadians.org/blog/trudeau-gove ... s-december ]

November 18, 2017 - 4:53 pm

The Trudeau government appears to be on the verge of beginning 'free trade' talks with the Chinese government.

The National Post reports, "Justin Trudeau is expected to announce he is heading to Beijing early next month to launch free trade talks with China. The trip has not been finalized but diplomatic sources suggest he will head east in the first week of December."

This is in keeping with what we have previously read.

On September 6, the National Post reported, "According to a Canadian government official familiar with the matter, formal exploratory talks with China wrapped up in July. Officials are crunching numbers and are expected provide analysis to trade minister François-Philippe Champagne before the end of the month. Cabinet could be discussing a decision by October, and Champagne could be on his way to China in December if there’s a green light, the official said. Experts concur talks would likely take multiple years to complete, probably past the next federal election in October 2019."

Earlier this year, Charles Burton, a former counsellor at the Canadian embassy in Beijing, commented, "Opinion polls indicate most Canadians do not want further political-economic integration with China, but elements of Canada’s business elite, with lucrative connections to Chinese business networks, are lobbying the Prime Minister’s Office hard to push on."

The Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) was ratified in September 2014 by the Harper Conservatives with the support of the Trudeau Liberals. That agreement was opposed by the Hupacasath First Nation that sees the deal as a violation of Indigenous rights.

As a net importer of Chinese investment, especially in energy and resources, investment protection provisions pose a real threat to the public interest. The existing investment pact with China notably allows Chinese energy companies to threaten the federal, provincial or territorial governments against imposing environmental rules on tar sands production, pipeline construction and other projects.

It should also be highlighted that on January 15, 2016, The Globe and Mail reported, "China wants to forge a historic free-trade deal with Canada, but a senior Chinese official said this will require Canadian concessions on investment restrictions and a commitment to build an energy pipeline to the coast."

Less than a year later, on November 29, 2016, the Trudeau government announced its approval of the 890,000 barrel per day Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline to the British Columbia coast.

The Council of Canadians opposes a Canada-China FTA and sees it as detrimental to people and the environment in both Canada and China.


Brent Patterson's blog
Political Director of the Council of Canadians
[ https://canadians.org/blogs/brent-patterson ]
Oscar
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