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October 24th, 2012

Clarity needed in China trade deal

Don Davies pushes Trade Committee to study China FIPA

With one week to go before the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) is set to come into effect, New Democrats are calling on the government to postpone ratification and allow Parliament to conduct a proper review of this important agreement.

“The China FIPA will have a massive impact on regulation of investment in Canada and China. However, the Conservatives are not planning any review or public consultation,” said New Democrat International Trade critic Don Davies. This is pretty irresponsible for the Conservative government.”

The Government tabled the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) in the House of Commons three weeks ago but so far they have not allowed any study or debate.

"A preliminary reading of the agreement raises many concerns. It allows for arbitration to happen in secret, it does not achieve reciprocal access for Canadian investors to Chinese markets, it exposes Canadian taxpayers to expensive lawsuits and, once implemented, it will be in effect for at least 31 years,” said Davies. “That’s why I’m calling on the Trade Committee to conduct a study that hears from a wide cross section of witnesses, including investors, provinces, trade groups, legal experts and Canadian citizens to see exactly how this will effect trade and investment in Canada.”

Davies has introduced a motion to hold hearings at the International Trade Committee to study this deal. It will be debated and voted on Thursday.

“Trade deals are tabled in Parliament and voted on--why not this investment deal? The Trade Committee spent four days on the Panama trade deal and six on the Jordan deal. This deal with China is much more complex and significant yet the Conservatives don’t want to take the time to examine it properly. This is irresponsible,” said Davies.