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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:23 am    Post subject: Free Trade deal with China ? Reply with quote

( do we really want a free trade deal between Canada and China ? that would seem to me like a bad idea on so many levels )

Push to launch Canada, China free trade talks falls flat in Beijing

A planned press conference in which the two countries were expected to cement their desire for the agreement was abruptly cancelled

A security guard attempts to block a photographer from taking a picture Prime Minister Justin Trudeau being greeted by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Monday. The incident happened following a difference of opinion between Canadian and Chinese government staff regarding the number of foreign journalist and prime ministerial staff allowed to witness the photo opportunity.Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick

Bloomberg News

December 4, 2017
2:17 PM EST

Filed under
〉 Economy

A push to launch free trade negotiations between China and Canada fell flat Monday, with the nations abruptly scrapping a planned press conference and agreeing instead to extend exploratory talks.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signalled one sticking point was Canada’s preference for sprawling “progressive” pacts, and that the countries only wanted to launch formal talks if they were more confident a deal could be reached. It’s the second time in a month that Canada has effectively left a trade partner at the altar.

Trudeau and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang canceled their joint media availability in Beijing, with each leader instead making a brief statement pledging cooperation on climate change and clean growth. The two countries had been expected to cement their desire for a free trade agreement, though officials had said right up until the last minute no decision had been made.

“Canada is committed to moving forward on progressive trade deals that involve things like chapters on gender, on the environment, on labour,” Trudeau told Canadian reporters at a hotel late Monday, after his appearance with Li. “China is very aware that this is a precedent as they move forward with their first trade deal with a G-7 country and there’s a desire to make sure we get it right.”
See AlsoChina cancels planned press conference, PMO says, amid Trudeau’s state visit

Both leaders downplayed any tensions from the event, held on the first full day of Trudeau’s visit.

Sticking Points

Li said the two countries “are entering what we call a golden age in our relationship,” noting exploratory talks and feasibility studies toward an FTA will continue while alluding to an impasse. “On human rights, rule of law and some other issues we have also had discussions,” he said. “Both sides should view that, due to the different national circumstances, it is only natural that we don’t see eye-to-eye on some issues.”

The episode was reminiscent of last month’s scuttled round of Trans-Pacific Partnership talks in Vietnam, when Canada angered trading partners including Japan when it balked at finalizing a revamped deal. The TPP has nonetheless been rebranded as the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership, reflecting Canada’s push to frame trade deals within Trudeau’s domestic agenda in part to make them more palatable to voters.

Progress was nonetheless made Monday, with Trudeau saying Canada’s beef and pork producers will have greater access to the Chinese market. The two countries will also continue to work together to resolve a canola dispute after an existing deal expires in 2020.

‘High Expectations’

“I’m pleased that we’ll continue our exploratory discussions toward a comprehensive trade agreement between Canada and China,” Trudeau said alongside Li in the Great Hall of the People. The Canadian leader told reporters afterward the two countries only want to proceed if they can meet the “high expectations” that launching talks would create.

“There wasn’t one specific issue — there’s a coming together on the sense that this is going to be a big thing, not a small thing,” Trudeau said.

Canada is seeking to diversify trade away from the U.S., and that effort intensified after the Trump administration threatened to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement if it couldn’t wring concessions from Canada and Mexico. Negotiations on a revamped Nafta deal have been extended into next year.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Justin Trudeau's great expectations clash with reality in China: Chris Hall

'Prime ministers usually don't go on trips like that without something to announce': John Manley

By Chris Hall, CBC News Posted: Dec 04, 2017 12:01 PM ET| Last Updated: Dec 05, 2017 9:23 AM ET

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to media in Beijing, China on Monday. "A trade agreement is not a small thing. It's a big thing," he told reporters.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to media in Beijing, China on Monday. "A trade agreement is not a small thing. It's a big thing," he told reporters. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Charles Dickens wrote a classic when he penned Great Expectations. Political leaders, on the other hand, make the classic mistake whenever they create expectations they don't meet.

Justin Trudeau was no exception Monday as he left the Great Hall of the People in Beijing without an expected announcement that Canada and China would begin formal free trade negotiations.

Not that it was the prime minister's fault.

His trade minister, François-Philippe Champagne, insisted during an interview Sunday with CBC Radio's The House that issues remained to be worked out. And Canadian officials made the point to reporters in an off-the-record briefing before the trip.

It's just that few people were buying the line.

Free trade talks with China will not yet begin0:23

Most business leaders, diplomats and political pundits thought this week's trip to China — with its high-level meetings between Trudeau and the top two Chinese leaders, with its stated focus on trade, closer ties and shared prosperity — would produce an announcement that after four rounds of exploratory talks and months of efforts, Canada and China would finally make a commitment.
■Free trade talks with China will not yet begin
■Time may be ripe to advance free trade
■ANALYSIS | Trudeau can always play Trump card

"Prime ministers usually don't go on trips like that without something to announce," said John Manley, the CEO of the Business Council of Canada, who was one of the few people cautioning Trudeau to proceed slowly after being the sole holdout two weeks earlier in signing an agreement in principle with Japan and the other members of Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The two sides have been engaged in exploratory talks for a year. China made it clear it was ready to take the next step, to try and forge its first agreement in North America, and its first with a member of the G7 group of industrialized nations.

So what happened?

Chill in the room

Early on in the day it appeared there were issues. Chinese and Canadian officials could be heard arguing about the Canadian media's access to the photo op of the two leaders. It continued, off an on, for more than an hour.

Once inside, Li and Trudeau made a few perfunctory remarks about the importance of the relationship before signing agreements a few minutes later to boost Canadian agricultural exports, and two others on energy and education.

Important things to be sure. Just not the big one.

Trudeau China 20171204
A security guard attempts to block a photographer as a picture is taken of Trudeau being greeted by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China on Monday. The incident happened following a difference of opinion between Canadian and Chinese government staff regarding the number of foreign journalist and prime ministerial staff allowed to witness the photo opportunity. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Then the prime minister's office told Canadian reporters the Chinese decided to cancel a planned news conference, insisting the two leaders read only prepared statements. No reason was given.

When they began, there was a definite chill in the room. Premier Li Keqiang, as the host, went first.

"We agreed to uphold global trade liberalization," he said, barely looking up from the pages in front of him. "On the bilateral [free trade agreement] we will continue exploratory talks. China is open to such talks … to the process and the content of such exploratory talks."

When his turn came to speak Trudeau went back to his standard refrain. Canada is interested in signing only a good deal, and on its own timeline. A deal that is true to the progressive goals he's set out in all trade talks: protection of labour and gender rights, and a commitment to battle climate change.

Li made it clear China isn't keen on the first two. He did say his government will work to combat climate change, a potentially significant market for Canadian clean-technology firms like Hydrogenics, an Ontario-based company that makes hydrogen fuel cell batteries set to be used in Beijing buses. Trudeau tested an emissions-free bus that uses the company's technology earlier in the day.

'It's a country that doesn't necessarily play by the rules.'

- Stephanie Carvin

When he finally met late on Monday night with Canadian reporters covering his trip, the first question was the obvious one: what happened?

"A trade agreement is not a small thing. It's a big thing. Canadians understand how important it is to get it right and we are ensuring that the progress made today in discussions that we will be able to continue moving forward in a responsible way," the prime minister said.

"This would be, for Canada, a significant trade agreement that we will eventually move forward because of the scale of the Chinese economy."

NAFTA, TPP difficulties

Two-way trade between Canada and China totalled about $90 billion last year. But two-thirds of that is Chinese exports to Canada. It is a lopsided relationship, one that's been getting more lopsided since 2012. With trade forecast to more than double by 2025, it's clear that discrepancy is going to get worse.
■Canada 'prepared for the worst' over NAFTA, Freeland says
■Australian official lashes out at Trudeau amid spat over TPP
■Trudeau sends a message, or three, on Asian summit tour

That, in large part, is the thinking behind a free trade deal. It would make it easier for Canadian companies to get into China. It would, as Champagne said this week, help ensure China's huge state-owned companies play by the same rules as private firms rather than as extensions of Chinese foreign and economic policy.

There will be some in Canada who are relieved that formal talks appear to be some way off.

NAFTA GDP 20171127
Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland meets for a trilateral meeting with Mexico's Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, left, and Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative, during the final day of the third round of NAFTA negotiations. Talks remain stalled. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

The Conservatives, for example, have warned darkly about the negative impacts of a trade deal with a country that doesn't ascribe to western values, that pays wages far below those in North America, that is accused of being behind cyber attacks against Western government and business and pays no mind Trudeau's so-called progressive values.

"I think the main thing to remember is that, when it comes to dealing with China, that it's a country that doesn't necessarily play by the rules," says Stephanie Carvin, a professor at Carleton University's Norman Paterson School for International Affairs.

But for Trudeau the choice, inability or difficulty in getting formal talks underway comes as NAFTA talks remain stalled. And only two weeks ago, Trudeau left the other leaders in the TPP confused at best and furious at worst for not joining them in signing a preliminary agreement Champagne had successfully negotiated to insert Trudeau's progressive elements.

In both cases there were great expectations. The final chapter of the TPP remains to be written. With China, the opening lines remain nothing more than a work in progress.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect that our brash idiot-PM blew another opportunity. It seems to have been going so good until Justin showed up.

Of course the CBC is covering for him. That's what they do.

Remember how he goofed up the APEC meetings at the Philippines? Remember how he glided around the big room, and nobody wanted to talk to him? This is another one of those embarrassing events. He wanted China to implement Canada's "progressive" labour policy as a price of trade!

The Chinese looked at things like 4 months maternity leave and 2 weeks paid holidays, and didn't go any further. Trudeau obviously has no knowledge of China. He has offended them because they feel as if they are being treated like a banana republic, a place where he could throw his weight around.

It may not be a good idea anyway. Why would China buy Canadian products? We are high-cost producers, and they don't want that. They would do it to get control over resources, as they have in Africa. My bet is that's their goal.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And now, even worse. He's lecturing the Chinese on a free press! Publicly!

ANALYSIS: In China, Trudeau says journalism that informs, challenges is vital. Bravo
By David Akin
Chief Political Correspondent

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's trip to China was focused mostly on boosting trade and investment but the Prime Minister is returning home with few achievements, David Akin reports.

On Prime Minister Justin Trudeau‘s last day of a week-long visit to China — a week in which he had done his best to be a gracious guest and not say anything remotely controversial about the dictatorship that was hosting him — Trudeau said something rather remarkable.

It may even be historic.

Speaking on Chinese soil, in the presence of several members of China’s obsequious state media, he said that reporters play an essential “challenge function.”

He was speaking off the top of his head, from his heart, in response to a question put to him in the midst of a 45-minute press conference in a communist country where independent-minded journalists go to jail.

Trudeau was prompted to make these comments about the value of an independent and free press because a reporter had asked him if his Chinese hosts had intimated that criticism of China in the Canadian press was making it difficult for his government to advance talks on a Canada-China free trade deal.

If the Canadian media was a thorn in Trudeau’s side, he refused to say so. Instead, Trudeau clearly indicated that this was not only the price he was willing to pay, if that was, in fact, true, it was a price he was happy to pay.

“Allow me to take a moment to thank members of the media,” Trudeau began. “You play an essential role: a challenge function, an information function. It’s not easy at the best of times. These are not the best of times with the transitions and challenges undergoing traditional media right now and I really appreciate the work that you do.”

But he was not done. He acknowledged that the spin masters in any political operation from any party these days are set up precisely to make the job of an independent and free press harder.

Great Our glorious leader, Trudeau the lesser, is acting with some spite here. The Chinese have made a fool of our PM. "Little Potato" has probably heard the snickers. This could have been some payback. And then Trudeau overplayed his hand.

He's just a really poor representative of the country. He thinks Canada is a stage for him to stand on.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is from The Economist, and is their report on the same thing.

Justin Trudeau searches in vain for new free-trade partners
The Canadian prime minister wants trade deals to address human rights and the environment. China doesn’t
Dec 7th 2017 | OTTAWA

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, Canada’s prime minister, set off for China on December 2nd amid speculation that the two countries would start free-trade talks. Canada needs new markets because the United States is turning inward. China wants to gain better access to Canada’s commodities and technology and to set a precedent for talks with other G7 countries. Although they have been talking about trade for more than a year, Mr Trudeau will return with no agreement to start negotiations.

Mr Trudeau’s Liberal government has suffered other recent setbacks on trade. At a meeting in Danang, Vietnam, last month, Japan blamed Canada for delaying a new version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement from which Donald Trump withdrew the United States. The snag was Canada’s request for protection of its culture. Renegotiation of the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the United States and Mexico is going badly. For a country whose trade is the equivalent of 64% of GDP, that is worrying.

Mr Trudeau thinks one way to counter a backlash in the West against globalisation would be to make trade agreements include strict standards for labour, the environment and human rights. The European Union agrees, and signed a comprehensive trade agreement with Canada last year. But other trade partners, whose standards, unlike Europe’s, are very different from Canada’s, want to keep trade deals simple.

China wants a plain-vanilla agreement similar to the one it concluded with Australia in 2015. “Beijing is unyielding that non-economic factors have no place in trade deals,” wrote Charles Burton, a scholar of China, in an assessment of the talks. The United States is receptive to labour and environmental standards (as a way to blunt competition from Mexico), but is uninterested in Canada’s ideas for incorporating indigenous rights into trade deals and making labour laws more union-friendly.

Mr Trudeau is not the first Canadian leader to deal with disappointments in trading relationships by seeking out new ones. When Britain removed preferential treatment for exports from colonies in 1846, Canada sought a deal with the United States. Mr Trudeau’s father, Pierre Trudeau, who was prime minister on and off from the 1960s to the 1980s, pursued a “third option” to supplement trade with the United States, which had raised tariffs, and Britain, which had entered Europe’s common market. Canada ended up doubling down on trade with the United States. A bilateral trade agreement, which took effect in 1989, was superseded by NAFTA.

Last year the United States bought three-quarters of Canada’s goods exports. It will remain Canada’s main trading partner, admits François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s trade minister. But, with “the most protectionist government since the 1930s” in Washington, “there has never been a better time to diversify.”

Changes in Canada’s economy make that more urgent. Things look good for the moment: GDP is expected to grow by 3% this year and unemployment is 5.9%, near a ten-year low. But oil and cars, which have sustained growth for more than a decade, face harder times. Mr Trump is using protectionist threats to grab jobs and investment back from Canada and Mexico. Alberta’s oil, which is costly to produce, faces growing competition from gas and renewable energy. The industries of the future probably include food, hydro-electricity and artificial intelligence, but none matches the importance of cars and oil.

Freer trade would help. But Mr Trudeau finds himself chasing deals with big countries like China, which reject labour and environmental add-ons that would make such pacts acceptable to Canadians. He may remain a disappointed suitor.

This article appeared in the The Americas section of the print edition under the headline "The lonely Mr Trudeau"

I think Justin's advisors aren't very realistic. We can't push countries around. We have a market of $35,000,000 people. The USA is 10 times our size and China is 40 times our size. Which is another way of saying that we offer a little opportunity, whereas their market is huge.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

‘He said, No, no, no’: Trump tells crowd about trade disagreement with Trudeau
By Alexander Panetta — The Canadian Press — Dec 8 2017

WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump regaled a rally of supporters Friday night with a story about a disagreement with Canada’s prime minister, then sprinkled his tale with some questionable statistics about international trade.

Trump told a partisan crowd in Florida that he and Justin Trudeau had a closed-door debate about trade balances.

He described it during the part of his speech where he blasted bad trade deals as one of the reasons he won last year’s election, and reiterated his promise to either cancel or renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

He lamented a $71 billion trade deficit with Mexico, then added that there’s also a deficit with Canada. That’s where he described his exchange with Trudeau — who apparently kept telling Trump the U.S. has no trade deficit with Canada.

“I like the prime minister very much. Prime Minister Trudeau. Nice guy. Good guy. No, I like him. But we had a meeting… He said, ‘No, no, you have a trade surplus.’ I said, ‘No we don’t.’ He said, ‘No, no you have a trade surplus,'” Trump told the Florida crowd.

“(Trudeau) said, ‘I’m telling you that Canada has a deficit with the United States.’ I told my people — in front of a lot of people — I said, ‘Go out and check’.”

He said his staff found Trudeau left out some key details, pertaining to trade in goods: “(Trudeau) was right. Except he forgot two categories: Lumber timber; and energy. Other than that, he was right. When you add them all together, we actually have a $17 billion deficit with Canada.”

That’s not what his own government’s stats say. [....]

Canada gets face-time with the busiest man in the world, and our embarrassing Prime Minister flubs his lines! He goes to the meeting without knowing the true situation!

To be honest, I would think his handlers would have ensured that Goofy knew the score.
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Free Trade deal with China ?

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