Canada 'remains cautious of pursuing new free trade deal with China'

Origin Calculation | | MIC Customs Solutions |

Canada will not be pressured into rushing into any new free trade agreement talks with China, according to a new report.

The Canadian government remains cautious over the prospect of a new free trade agreement (FTA) with China, despite Beijing's enthusiasm for the idea.

This is according to a new report from CNBC, with a Canadian source familiar with the matter saying that no decision has been made on whether to launch free trade talks ahead of prime minister Justin Trudeau's visit to the Chinese capital from December 3rd to 7th.

China is keen to secure a free trade pact with Canada that is similar to those it has with Australia and New Zealand, but public polls have consistently shown that the Canadian public is split over the merits of such a deal.

However, Canada is currently under pressure to diversify its export market due to the ongoing risk that the North American Free Trade Agreement with the US and Mexico, which is currently being renegotiated, may collapse.

Additionally, an individual briefed on the Chinese position told CNBC that Beijing is becoming frustrated over what it sees as Canada's "vague thinking" on this matter.

Despite this, the Canadian source said Trudeau's government is keen to set "a high bar in terms of what trade means for Canadians", saying of the Chinese: "While they may be impatient to move forward, I think they understand that."