Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has agreed with the Chinese premier to deepen the countries’ relationships and explore a possible free trade deal.
After meeting with Trudeau today in Beijing, the Chinese premier, Li Keqiang, said through a translator Canada and China will launch a feasibility study on an eventual free-trade deal.
A Canadian official later said the two counties have been engaged in ongoing technical discussions on free trade, but stressed that there are no negotiations under way at this point.
In his remarks, Trudeau noted his father, former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, played an important role in establishing a partnership between the two countries and he is “very happy to be extending that effort now.”
Meantime, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says existing dockage rules with China on canola exports have been extended beyond a deadline of Thursday as the two countries continue to wrestle with a long-term solution.
At issue is “dockage” — the amount of foreign material such as weeds — that should be considered acceptable in Canada’s canola exports to China.
The Chinese government had given Canada until Thursday, September 1st to cut the level of foreign material in its deliveries by more than half.
Canada’s international trade minister says government negotiators are in China working hard to resolve this dispute that could affect Canadian canola exports.
Speaking to reporters in Beijing, Chrystia Freeland said she understands the absolute importance of the two countries’ trade relationship, which includes billions of dollars worth of canola shipments.
(The Canadian Press)