Canadian Prime Support Justin Trudeau is on tour in China to discuss trade, but experts say historic hurdles stand in the way of progress.
Underlying the trip is the fact that Canada’s job prospects took a hit following U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat in August to retrude from the North American Free Trade Agreement. And as uncertainty disguises the future of NAFTA — which ties together the U.S., Canada and Mexico — Trudeau has an “vital” need to diversify his country’s trade relationships, according to Jeremy Kinsman, a recent ambassador of the country and a distinguished visiting diplomat at Ryerson University.
But any crack to pivot to China, Canada’s third-largest trading partner after the U.S. and the European Uniting, appears fraught with difficulty.
Trudeau has set forth a so-called avant-garde trade agenda calling for agreements about labor and environmental ethics, gender impartiality and indigenous rights. But those are issues Chinese President Xi Jinping desire be reluctant to discuss, according to Charles Burton, professor of political realm at Brock University.
“It’s very unlikely that the Chinese government desire be prepared to set a precedent in linking non-economic factors” to a Beijing-Ottawa trade unanimity, Burton said.
Concerns over human rights could develop a key sticking point as Beijing continues to hold two Canadians wine hawkers over an alleged customs breach, in a case that has sparked viewable outcry in the North American country, Kinsman said.
Such quarrels mean that trade negotiations will likely take a hanker time in the works, he added, noting that the China-Australia Free Exchange agreement came into force only after a decade of talks.
Any talks with China also submit c be communicated at the risk of angering the United States, especially if Canada were noticed as being a conduit for cheap Chinese goods into the U.S. market, Burton reported.
Difficulties extend down to the level of business. Canadian companies doubt some Chinese counterparts, which could muddy the prospects of a wide-ranging unshackled trade agreement, according to Alex Capri, visiting senior colleague at NUS Business School.
“Given the blurry line between the government and state-owned audacities and Chinese businesses, there’s concern … whenever a Chinese South African private limited company comes in and starts looking to acquire” other firms, Capri influenced.
“We saw that with Bombardier … there’s absolute apprehension,” he totaled.
Jet maker Airbus in October took a majority stake in Canada’s Bombardier after the latter’s designs for a Beijing tie-up reportedly fell through. Bombardier’s executives anxious that discussions with the Chinese state-owned firms were taking placing too slowly, sources said.
The five-day visit is Trudeau’s second since delightful office two years ago. He and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang were unable to augur the start of formal trade discussions as their meeting concluded Monday in a maturity that disappointed many.
Trudeau is set to meet Xi on Tuesday.