November 27th, 2017

NDP statement on the PM’s trade trip to China

NDP Critic for International Trade, Tracey Ramsey, made the following statement:

“The Prime Minister announced yesterday that he will travel to China next week to explore further trade relations. It is unclear whether the prospect of starting formal negotiations for a free trade deal will be part of his agenda.

A potential free trade agreement raises many questions that are yet unanswered. China has no free press, torture is widespread, workers do not have a right to collective bargaining, and hundreds of human rights defenders and dissidents have been detained.

Environmental protections, labour standards, and human rights must be at the forefront of any trade and investment discussions, and any trade deal must support Canadian jobs, not just focus on selling Canadian resources to be processed abroad.

The Liberals have failed to take action to address steel dumping by Chinese companies which put Canadian businesses at a dangerous disadvantage. China also has a questionable record on currency manipulation and unfair trade practices, and does not have market economy status, which means it would be very difficult to have a level playing field in a free trade deal.

There are also concerns about protecting the intellectual property of Canadians and the behaviour of state-owned enterprises in China, including through the takeover of Canadian companies that work on sensitive technologies.

Before making a decision on whether to begin formal negotiations, the government needs to clearly address all these concerns, and consult with Canadians before rushing into a deal that is against their interests.”