“Governments are entering into these free trade agreements so that they can decide when the time is right. I agree with the minister,” said Goldy Hyder, President of the Business Council of Canada. A new consensus seems to have been reached on Parliament Hill. The pious sermon, which generally marks the Conservative government`s approach to Sino-Canadian relations, has been cleverly supplanted by a far more cautious tactic: diplomacy! The focus is now on China`s enormous potential as an emerging consumer market and a place of investment for Canadian banking and insurance interests. This change in the Conservative Party`s strategy is not surprising. While a position of principle and (largely rhetorical) on China`s human rights record can be taken into account in addressing some of the most gullible elements of Canadian society, it is unlikely to have a discernible impact on internal security or on communist Party containment procedures. Nor is it particularly related to Canadian trade policy. As we have seen below, Ottawa has often sacrificed the principle of profit to strengthen the country`s relative competitiveness. In addition, China`s political elite recognizes that many “liberal democrat” regimes have a history of racial discrimination, dual language on foreign policy, and other issues and human rights violations. And they do not appreciate being unfairly dominated by countries like Canada, which continue to face serious and persistent social and political problems such as homelessness, child poverty, police brutality and the less satisfactory living conditions of many isolated Aboriginal communities. Canada has put the idea of a free trade agreement with China on hold, attacking a priority that once dominated Prime Minister Justin Trudeau`s desire to challenge relations with the world`s second-largest economy. 1994: Canada begins negotiations for a trade agreement with China.
Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, the architect of Team Canada`s trade missions, visited China six times during his tenure as Prime Minister, but while countries concluded some agreements on Nuclear reactors designed by Canada and other businesses, no free trade agreement was reached. Discover new ways to expand your international presence. Canada`s broad (and growing) commercial network provides Canadian businesses with preferential access to various markets around the world. This page examines Canada`s Free Trade Agreement (FTA), Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (FIPA), multilateral agreements and World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements.