Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Canada looking to Asia for trade

Canada’s new trade minister, Fran├žois-Philippe Champagne, wants trade talks with China, India and Japan.

He was commenting after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

Australia says it believes the TPP can go ahead without the U.S., but Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s minister of Global Affairs, says it can’t work without the U.S.

Champagne said he’s taking stock of Canada’s options, but it is clear many Asian countries are eager to deepen their trade

“We want to send a message that Canada is open to trade, obviously with China, with India, with Japan. I’ve had meetings with our counterparts so we’re going to be considering our options,” he said Monday night in Calgary, where the Liberal cabinet held a two-day retreat.

Supply management for Canada’s dairy industry is not likely to be much of an issue with China, India and Japan, but it is a huge issue with the United States, New Zealand and Australia.   

Canada also has natural resources that are of interest to many Asian countries and that puts Canada into a strong bargaining position.

More worrisome for supply-management farmers is Trump’s insistence that the North American Free Trade Agreement be opened for re-negotiation.