Vastavam web: Canada has high hopes for a trade agreement with China but won’t rush into negotiations that could affect their economies for generations to come, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today.On the second day of a visit to Beijing, Trudeau told reporters that Canada was “constantly engaged” on trade issues with China as part of exploratory talks on a trade pact launched two years ago that have tackled issues such as agricultural exports.”This is something that is an ongoing process that we take very seriously and of course we are going to continue talk about opportunities to benefit Canadians every moment that we have” in both China and back in Canada, he said.
Rather than announcing trade talks, Trudeau instead touted an agreement with China on the importance of dealing with climate change and upholding the 2015 Paris agreement, despite President Donald Trump’s aim to withdraw the United States from the accord to cap greenhouse gasses.”Prime ministers usually don’t go on trips like that without something to announce,” John Manley, CEO of the Business Council of Canada, was quoted as saying by the public Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Trudeau held talks with Premier Li Keqiang on Monday and was due to meet with President Xi Jinping later today. He said discussions also touched on human rights, regional and global political issues and the growing role China is playing on the international stage.Canadian businesses have also been unsettled by Trump’s threat to renegotiate or even withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trudeau said it was important to oppose economic nationalism, but said he was also looking for ways to “improve NAFTA for the 21st century.”Following his meeting with Li, Trudeau said Canada hopes a trade agreement with China will reflect “Canadian values” in the areas of labor rights, environmental protection and gender equality.
“We are going to work very hard, very responsibly to make sure that as we move forward, we move forward in the right way,” he said. “Once we get to the stage of negotiating a trade agreement, that’s going to take years as well.” In addition to seeking a trade pact with China, Canada has remained part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. During recent talks in Vietnam, Trudeau lobbied for strong provisions for environmental protection, labour rights, and gender issues, and the name of the initiative was altered to be the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.