Canada: Full trade deal with China is possible

Legislation | | MIC Customs Solutions |

Canada may want a free trade deal with China, trade minister Jim Carr has said.

Canada's trade minister has not ruled out a full-scale trade agreement with China in the future, even though the two nations are currently only pursuing smaller-scale negotiations.

The governmental representative Jim Carr told reporters in Beijing this week that China remains interested in a wide range of Canadian products and that having measures in place to make trade easier could be beneficial for both nations.

"These are trade conversations over a period of time. Trade is not an event and we're having a continuous dialogue with our Chinese counterparts about a whole variety of products," he added.

Canada has targets in place for trade growth and one of these is the aim of doubling Canadian agricultural exports to China to $75 billion (€67 billion) over the next seven years.

This could lead to a comprehensive trade agreement, Carr believes.

Last week, $1.7 billion in new business was agreed between Canadian companies participating in the China International Import Expo and customers, demonstrating the already strong relationship between consumers.

However, efforts to get the ball rolling and start formal free trade talks ground to a halt last year when Chinese leaders rejected a Canadian trade agenda over labour and indigenous rights.

A recent Public Policy Forum paper has also warned that any trade deal between China and Canada could risk angering the United States, which is currently engaged in a trade war with China.

This may have repercussions for Canada's trade relationship with the US, it suggested.

Mr Carr also revealed that he had spoken to Chinese delegates about the recent meeting on World Trade Organization reform and insisted they are "absolutely committed to a world system that's rules-based, and I thought that's also very positive".