China still wants to conclude a free trade agreement with Canada, while a clause of the new treaty between the United States, Mexico and Canada raises doubts about it.
Indeed, it is written in the new North American Agreement that a party must inform others of its intention to enter into free trade negotiations with a non-market economy country. In case of opposition, the North American agreement could be suspended and replaced by a bilateral agreement.
Without being named, China seems to be covered by this clause. Some observers see it as Washington’s attempt to stop Ottawa from concluding a free trade agreement with Beijing without its approval.
China has already expressed its frustration by the voice of its embassy in Canada lamenting “the hegemonic actions taken by one country that blatantly interfere with the sovereignty of another country.”
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, on Wednesday, spoke on the phone with his Canadian counterpart, Chrystia Freeland, on Wednesday to discuss global trade and the bilateral partnership between Chinese news agency Xinhua. the two countries.
According to Xinhua, Freeland spoke summarily about the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (SCMTA) with Mr. Wang, stressing that any free trade agreement must be open, inclusive and that the UCITS must not undermine the rights and interests of other countries.
According to the Chinese news agency, Chrystia Freeland is reported to have told her counterpart that Canada will advance free trade agreement negotiations with other countries based on its own decisions.
“Canada is ready to join with other countries, including China, to firmly maintain its rules-based multilateral trading system and oppose trade protectionism,” she said, “can we read from the Xinhua website.
“Mr. Wang said China has always held firm to free trade. […] He invited Canada to join China in protecting the global free trade system and promoting the creation of a free trade zone between China and Canada, “Xinhua wrote.
Ottawa and Beijing have begun to discuss free trade in recent years, but talks have stalled since last year. In addition to Ms. Freeland, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently reiterated Canada’s interest in developing trade with China.