Canada risking its NAFTA treaty with the United States if it negotiates a free-trade deal - with China.
By Michael London
Canadian Prime Minister is willing to let the United States jettison its deal on NAFTA because he is continuing to work with the Chinese government on an "eventual" free trade deal. This coming directly from the horse’s mouth Justin Trudeau yesterday, catching many expert observers and analysts by surprise.
The fact The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) specifically allows any of signatories to withdraw from the trade pact if any of the other members enter a free-trade deal with a “non-market” country such as China. According to Trudeau’s comments in a town hall, he held for students of the National University of Singapore…
"This clause doesn’t prevent us from doing what we’re already doing which is indeed continuing to negotiate with China on an eventual free trade deal.”
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The NAFTA clause, however, is designed to help isolate China economically and prevent Chinese companies from using Canada or Mexico as a way China can ship its exports to the United States tariff-free. Speaking out and making it clear according to Trudeau is his way of providing “transparency” and keeping Canada’s trading partners ‘informed.”
The escalating trade war between the United States and China is showing no signs of ending any time soon, and the increasingly severe rounds of tariffs on each other’s imports continue to roll out.
The NAFTA clause, in the updated version of NAFTA, now named the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), requires the three participants of the agreement to notify the others at least three months before entering into negotiations that could lead to any trade deal with a country outside the agreement. Trudeau acknowledged he was in Singapore to negotiate with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday and they had been in discussions that included other matters beyond a trade deal during their meeting…
“Yes, we talked about deepening trade ties, increasing flows of goods and services between Canada and China for the benefit of citizens and businesses on both sides,"
"But I also talked about human rights, the situation of the Uighurs, we also talked about things that are difficult to talk about,”
Beijing has been dealing with an international outcry from activists, academics,
foreign governments as well as U.N. rights experts over its mass arrests and
detention of its Muslim Uighur minority and other Muslim groups living in its
Xinjiang region. Reuters is reporting that a group of 15 Western ambassadors stationed
in Beijing has been looking for a meeting
with the top government official in Xinjiang in an attempt to voice their
concerns over a myriad of alleged rights abuses against the Uighur and Muslim
population in that region of China.