Canada and China discuss the potential of free trade

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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The talks between Canada and China might lead to a number of agreements pivoting at free trade between the two countries.

One potential political argument from Canada-China free trade talks was highlighted in a Canadian Press-Harris Decima survey which indicates that Canadians are cautious of letting the Chinese play a calculating role in the domestic economy.

“Further diversifying our trading relations has the potential of greatly expanding Canadian growth and job creation,” Harper said in his speech to the Canada-China business forum.

Elaborating Harper’s speech, Trade Minister Ed Fast said Canada is taking things one step at a time.

Fast said: "We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves. Our end game is to deepen our trade relationship in one of our key priority markets."

Moreover, the survey suggests Canadians are less stimulated by the Chinese having a steering wheel in Canadian-owned or operated companies.

"The data shows that the historic thinking of foreign ownership being either desirable or undesirable is no longer valid," said Doug Anderson, senior vice-president of Harris-Decima.

"Opinion has evolved and Canadians now judge different types of foreign investment very differently."

A joint statement was released Thursday after PM Harper met with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Vice Premier Li Keqiang.

"You put a lot of value on Canada’s relationship with China and are strongly committed to promoting the practical co-operation between our two countries," Hu told Harper.

"I appreciate your efforts."

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