CAN-CHINA FTA: . . Current status???

CAN-CHINA FTA: . . Current status???

Postby Oscar » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:59 pm

Free-trade talks with China: Proceed with caution

[ https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion ... e35192536/ ]

CHARLES BURTON Special to The Globe and Mail Jun. 05, 2017 12:00 AM EDT

Charles Burton is an associate professor of political science at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario and is a former Counsellor at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing

June 2 marked the end of the 90-day period that federal officials allocated for public input into Canada’s potential free-trade negotiations with China. But the so-called “consultation” bore little resemblance to the process that Ottawa uses when it is serious about getting feedback on policy.

People who are called to make presentations to parliamentary committees have their airfare, hotels and meals paid, and a transcript of the hearing is immediately made publicly available.

In this case, officials will simply issue a summary report that likely supports the government in moving from the current “exploratory talks” to binding negotiation of a Canada-China free-trade agreement.

At any rate, Ottawa’s approach to negotiating free trade with China is already known – it’s on the government’s Canada-China free-trade consultations website. For example, in the FAQs, the question that concerns most Canadians (“Will Canada address human rights concerns in China through an FTA?”) gets a boilerplate response: “The promotion and protection of human rights is an integral part … in our long-standing relationship with China.” Fair to say we can take that as a “no.” On the contrary, Chinese authorities make it crystal clear that unless Canada commits to ceasing to “interfere in our internal affairs” there will be no lucrative trade deal.

The hard truth is that Beijing doesn’t really need a free-trade agreement with Canada. China already has excellent access to Canadian markets because of our low tariffs, our fair and transparent business regulations and our impartial rule of law to adjudicate contract disputes. Canada, of course, has nowhere near a level playing field in China, where many sectors are closed to Canadian goods, services and investment. Whether a free-trade agreement with China will shrink our current 3:1 trade deficit is very much an open question.

The prospect of strengthening Canada's comprehensive engagement with China, including economic and trade activity, is certainly alluring, especially given the erratic state of our relations with the Trump regime. But don’t expect free-trade talks to enrich our business with China if the process only forces Canada to bow to Beijing-imposed conditions on other important aspects of the economic relationship.

MORE:

[ https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion ... e35192536/ ]


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Think tank leads corporate-funded campaign to sway Canadians on Chinese trade


[ https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/po ... e35406698/ ]

By ROBERT FIFE and STEVEN CHASE Globe and Mail Update June 21, 2017

Nearly nine in 10 Canadians are 'uncomfortable' with the idea of China gaining more access to Canada's economy

An Ottawa-based think tank, with ties to corporate Canada and the federal government, is spearheading a campaign to persuade Canadians to embrace a free-trade deal with China.

As Canada's negotiators ready for a third round of exploratory trade talks with China, the Public Policy Forum (PPF) is embarking on a two-year effort, bankrolled by major corporations, to change Canadians' minds about bilateral trade with the world's second-biggest economy.

Public-opinion surveys, conducted in April by Nanos Research for The Globe and Mail, found nearly nine in 10 Canadians are "uncomfortable" with the idea of China's large, government-controlled businesses gaining more access to Canada's economy – an almost inevitable aspect of any free-trade deal. The poll also found that 66 per cent of respondents want Ottawa to link human rights to trade talks.

The first quarterly meeting of the PPF'S Consultative Forum on China takes place in Ottawa on Wednesday and includes executives doing business with China, leading profree-trade advocates from academia as well as the head of the Canada China Business Council. Ian Shugart, deputy minister of Foreign Affairs, will address the gathering.

Two high-ranking federal civil servants sit on the board of the PPF, an organization that advocates policies to promote good governance.

The conference is closed to the media. Edward Greenspon, a former editor-in-chief of The Globe, was in a "flurry of meetings" and unable to comment, according to spokesman Carl Neustaedter.

MORE:

[ https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/po ... e35406698/ ]


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Third round of Canada-China FTA exploratory talks start in July

[ https://canadians.org/blog/third-round- ... start-july ]

July 5, 2017 - 8:21 am

(PHOTO: The Council of Canadians protested in front of the Prime Minister's Office during the second round of exploratory talks this past April.)


The Trudeau government continues to pursue a Canada-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) despite public concerns.

The Canadian Press reports, "A third round of exploratory trade talks is scheduled to start this month and [China's Ambassador to Canada Lu Shaye] hopes formal negotiations will follow at an 'early date', Lu said. However, the spokesman for International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said the government is still waiting on the results of its public consultations with Canadians. If the exploratory talks lead the government to conclude that formal negotiations should take place, Ottawa might launch another round of consultations, said spokesman Joseph Pickerill."

The article adds, "The Trudeau government has been proactive in trying to develop closer ties with China and in pursuing a bilateral trade deal. However, a full-fledged trade pact is likely years away. Ottawa has said human rights and labour standards will be part of any trade agreement with China. China, however, doesn't think issues like human rights and democracy belong in an economic deal."

The Trudeau government's limited public consultation on a Canada-China free trade agreement ended on June 2.

On June 5, Charles Burton, a former counsellor at the Canadian embassy in Beijing, wrote, "The so-called 'consultation' bore little resemblance to the process that Ottawa uses when it is serious about getting feedback on policy. People who are called to make presentations to parliamentary committees have their airfare, hotels and meals paid, and a transcript of the hearing is immediately made publicly available. In this case, officials will simply issue a summary report that likely supports the government in moving from the current 'exploratory talks' to binding negotiation of a Canada-China free-trade agreement."

Earlier this year, Burton 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 Council of Canadians opposes a Canada-China FTA and sees it as detrimental to people and the environment in both Canada and China.

Further reading:

Trudeau pursues 'free trade' with China, with implications for pipelines, Indigenous rights & water protection (September 2016)
[ https://canadians.org/blog/trudeau-purs ... protection ]


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









Will a Canada-China Free Trade Agreement mean cargo ships in the Northwest Passage?

[ https://canadians.org/blog/will-canada- ... st-passage ]

September 11, 2017 - 12:08 pm

With 90 per cent of China's goods exported by ship, a Trudeau cabinet decision expected in October on pursuing a Canada-China Free Trade Agreement, climate change melting northern waters, and the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long, or Snow Dragon, recently completing a voyage through the Northwest Passage, it is worthwhile thinking about the impact of cargo ship traffic in the Arctic, notably the risks of oil spills and ship emissions on Indigenous peoples, the ocean and marine life.

The Globe and Mail reports, "China's official government news agency says Beijing used a scientific icebreaker voyage through Canada's Northwest Passage to test the viability of sailing Chinese cargo ships through the environmentally fragile route that links the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Xinhua News Agency, often used to deliver messages on behalf of the Chinese state, lauded the Sept. 6 completion of the first-ever Chinese voyage through the Arctic waterway, saying the Snow Dragon icebreaker 'accumulated a wealth of experience for Chinese ships going through the Northwest Passage in the future'."

The article highlights Xinhua reporting, "From Shanghai to New York, the traditional route that passes through the Panama Canal is 10,500 nautical miles, while the route that passes through the Northwest Passage is 8,600 nautical miles, which saves 7 days of time."

The article also quotes University of Calgary Professor Rob Huebert who says, "[The Chinese] are preparing for a very substantial increase in the amount of shipping. It is obvious this is going into the planning to a degree that we don't see in Western shipping companies. They have given us clear notice this is going to happen."

As far back as March 2010, University of British Columbia Professor Michael Byers commented, "China's major interest concerns the shipping routes being opened by the melting sea-ice. Different routes will be used depending on origins and destinations: Liquefied natural gas from the Barents Sea will be sent to Shanghai through Russia's Northern Sea Route; luxury German cars will go straight 'over the top'; and Chinese goods headed for the eastern US will use the Northwest Passage."

And in September 2014, The Financial Post reported, "A newly released report, commissioned by the Alberta government last year, by Arctic petroleum consultants Canatec Associates International Ltd. ... suggests that getting oil-sands bitumen to the Far North port of Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., could be a cheap, efficient and effective way to get Alberta’s landlocked bitumen to oil-hungry Asia." One related proposal is the 100,000 barrel-per-day 'Arctic Gateway' pipeline, a 2,400 kilometres long pipeline from the tar sands of northern Alberta through the Mackenzie Valley to the port of Tuktoyaktuk on the Arctic Ocean.

As for 'free trade' deals, the National Post recently reported, "While all eyes are on NAFTA, Canada is trying to move quickly on trade in the Asia-Pacific, with decisions on a China free trade agreement and an updated Trans-Pacific Partnership coming this fall."

With respect to the Canada-China FTA, the newspaper notes, "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."

And with the TPP, the article notes, "A Trans-Pacific Partnership sans Trump is shaping up in earnest, spearheaded by Japan and Canada. Officials are expecting a road map for an agreement will come alongside an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in November. The expectation is this would take months, not years, said the official."

We will continue to monitor this situation.

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

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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.

MORE:

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


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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 ]
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Re: CAN-CHINA FTA: . . cargo (oil?) ships in Northwest Passa

Postby Oscar » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:47 pm

China Plans ‘Polar Silk Road’ Through Ice-Free Arctic

[ http://theenergymix.com/2018/02/14/chin ... ee-arctic/ ]

Full Story: BBC @BBC/ February 14, 2018/Primary Author

China is laying plans to establish a “Polar Silk Road” as Arctic sea ice melts away to open water due to climate change.

The country announced its plans for a network of international shipping lanes in its first official policy paper on the region, the BBC reports.

“President Xi Jinping’s US$1-trillion (£700-billion) Belt and Road Initiative seeks to rebuild much of Eurasia’s infrastructure of ports, roads, and rails and put China at its centre,” and “encourages businesses to build infrastructure and conduct commercial trial voyages in the Arctic,” the UK broadcaster notes.

“Last August, a Russian tanker travelled from Norway to South Korea without an icebreaker escort for the first time.”

The northerly routes are central to China’s international trade ambitions, BBC adds, given that “the northeast passage could take 20 days off the 48 days it currently takes to get to Rotterdam from China via the Suez Canal.”

The Beijing document stresses that China “hopes to work with all parties” to develop the routes, and that every country’s “right to use the Arctic shipping routes should be ensured.”

Perhaps anticipating charges that its latter-day Silk Road proposal is a thinly-veiled resource grab, “the paper does acknowledge China’s interests in oil and gas, minerals, fishing, and other resources in the region,” the BBC states. But it insists on “an interest in developing them cooperatively with other nations and Arctic states.” According to Reuters, Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou dismissed concerns about China’s intentions as “absolutely unnecessary”.
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Re: CAN-CHINA FTA: . . cargo (oil?) ships in Northwest Passa

Postby Oscar » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:48 pm

China to develop Arctic shipping routes opened by global warming

[ http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-42833178 ]

26 January 2018

( PHOTO: Russia's Christophe de Margerie Arctic LNG tanker in the port of Sabetta on the Yamal Peninsula in the Arctic circle on 7 December 2017Image copyright MAXIM ZMEYEV Image caption )

Last year, a Russian tanker travelled the northern route from Norway to South Korea without an icebreaker escort for the first time

China has announced plans to develop shipping lanes through the Arctic to become a "Polar Silk Route".

Beijing said global warming meant viable shipping routes through the Arctic would become increasingly important for international trade.

It said China would work with Russia and other Arctic countries to develop the polar route.

It is part of an ambitious bigger scheme to transform China's land and sea connections to Europe and beyond.

President Xi Jinping's $1tn (£700bn) Belt and Road Initiative seeks to rebuild much of Eurasia's infrastructure of ports, roads and rails, and put China at its centre.

Global warming is - ironically, some observers say, given industry's role in creating it - opening the world up to more potential business opportunities.

Last August, a Russian tanker travelled from Norway to South Korea without an icebreaker escort for the first time.

"China hopes to work with all parties to build a 'Polar Silk Road' through developing the Arctic shipping routes," China said in its first official policy paper on the polar region.

It said every country's "rights to use the Arctic shipping routes should be ensured".

MORE:

[ http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-42833178 ]



= = = =

◾Tales from the New Silk Road
[ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt ... _silk_road ]

◾China's big push for its global trade narrative
[ http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-39880163 ]

◾What is China's One Belt, One Road?
[ http://www.bbc.com/news/av/business-398 ... t-one-road ]
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Re: CAN-CHINA FTA: . . cargo (oil?) ships in Northwest Passa

Postby Oscar » Sat May 26, 2018 6:42 am

What is the current status of the Canada-China Free Trade Agreement talks?

[ https://canadians.org/blog/what-current ... ment-talks ]

May 26, 2018 - 8:13 am

(PHOTO: The Council of Canadians were outside the Prime Minister's Office in April 2017 to call on him to stop exploratory talks on a Canada-China Free Trade )Agreement.

In September 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced that there would be exploratory talks toward a Canada-China Free Trade Agreement. Three rounds of exploratory talks took place, but we've heard little since those concluded in July 2017 and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's trip to China in December 2017.

The Globe and Mail now reports, "The Trudeau government’s rejection of a Chinese takeover of Aecon Group Ltd. won’t derail free trade talks with China, but other factors – a shakeup in China’s ruling Communist Party and the trade dispute between Beijing and Washington – are weighing on the progress of the talks, federal officials say. ... However, a senior official told The Globe and Mail that there has been no serious activity on the Canada-China free trade file since December when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came home empty-handed from Beijing without a deal to launch formal trade talks."

The article adds, "The last ministerial-level trade talks occurred in February when Song Tao, head of the Communist Party’s International Liaison Department, met Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne and Daniel Jean, then-national security adviser to Mr. Trudeau, as well as other senior advisers in the Prime Minister’s Office. In his talks with Mr. Song, Canada’s Trade Minister focused on how to move ahead on free-trade negotiations. On Friday, a senior official said the 'climate for discussion remains positive', but noted that Canadian negotiator Bruce Christie and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Shouwen, have not held informal talks for months and none are scheduled for the immediate future."

In short, Trudeau was not able to formally announce the launch of 'free trade' talks in December 2017 and a ministerial-level discussion in February 2018 also did not move talks on the deal forward.

In September 2017, the National Post had more optimistically reported, "According to a Canadian government official familiar with the matter, formal exploratory talks with China wrapped up in July [2017]. Officials are crunching numbers and are expected (to) provide analysis to trade minister François-Philippe Champagne before the end of [September 2017]. Cabinet could be discussing a decision by October [2017], and Champagne could be on his way to China in December [2017] if there’s a green light, the official said."

That timeline suggests that the cabinet had given a "green light" to Canada-China 'free trade' talks given Trudeau's trip to China in December 2017. In fact, the CBC reported at that time, "Trudeau says he made substantial progress during his four-day trip to China even though he failed to secure an agreement to begin formal negotiations on a comprehensive trade deal with the world's second-largest economy."

Charles Burton, a former counsellor at the Canadian embassy in Beijing, has 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." Canada's ambassador to China John McCallum has commented, “The crucial point will be whether we can persuade the average Canadian or the average Canadian worker whether [a free trade agreement with China is] good for him or her."

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
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8006
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 3:23 pm


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