China free-trade deal could bring ‘billions and billions’ to Canada annually: expert

A Canada-China free-trade deal could bring a�?billions and billions of dollarsa�? to the sagging Canadian economy each year, according to an expert on the subject matter.

Laura Dawson, director of the Canada Institute at the Wilson Center in Washington, recently co-authored a study on a Canada-China free-trade agreement. The study will be released next week. Canada is not currently engaged in free-trade negotiations with China, according to Global Affairs Canada. However, a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) is in place between China and Canada, which is aimed at protecting and promoting foreign investment through legally-binding rights and obligations.

Speaking to CTVa��s Question Period, Dawson said her research shows that Canada stands to benefit greatly if the two countries were to reach a deal.

Laura Dawson, director of the Canada Institute at the Wilson Center in Washington, speaks to CTV’s Question Period.
a�?I am astonished by the benefits that Canada could derive from this kind of agreement. Billions and billions of dollars every year.”
According to Dawson and Canadian Global Affairs Institute Vice-President Colin Robertson, many sectors of the Canadian economy would profit from the diversification that would come with a Canada-China free-trade deal, including:
a�? Agri-food, such as pork and canola
a�? Lumber
a�? Insurance: a�?There are a number of Canadian insurance companies over there. We sell an awful lot,” Robertson told Question Period.

Dawson also said there is no need to worry about the effects of a free-trade deal with China on Canada’s relationship with its closest partner — the U.S.

a�?The United States already has a high level economic dialogue and framework with China. Ita��s working quite well, a�? said Dawson. a�?Ita��s way ahead of the level of cooperation that Canada and China have so I dona��t think that we would put ourselves in an antagonistic position vis-A�-vis the United States.a�?

The Liberal government has emphasized the need for Canada to connect with growing markets in the global economy, especially amidst a bleak economy at home. More specifically, International Trade Minister Chyrstia Freeland told CTVa��s Question Period this week that China and India are priorities for her file.

a�?These are two huge, growing markets, areas, where at a time the global economy is not growing as quickly as we would like, wea��re still seeing tremendous economic growth.a�?

Freelanda��s comments come as Prime Minister Justin Trudeaua��s Liberal government prepares for a major trade mission to China and India. Trudeau is likely to travel to the two countries in March after bilateral meetings with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, according to a report by the Globe and Mail last week. The trip is part of a longer-term goal of reaching a free-trade deal with China, said the report.


News Source: CTV News (http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/china-free-trade-deal-could-bring-billions-and-billions-to-canada-annually-expert-1.2730957)