Alec Sarner

All League Offensive Lineman – Center

Current Trade Agreements Between Canada And China

To be fair, it could be argued that concluding an agreement on investment promotion and protection is much less complicated than establishing more open trade relations with the PRC. This is certainly a defensible position. According to him, the Ottawa negotiating teams should address the issue of “labour standards” if they followed a trajectory of trade liberalization with China. Correcting the gaps in the country`s “employment services” is a huge problem that would be difficult to overcome. For example, China has about thirty special economic zones that employ about 13 million workers. In general, working conditions are unpleasant. In addition, every year, dozens of peasants who move from rural and remote areas head to these areas in search of employment. This army of unemployed peasants who are unwittingly strengthening the bargaining position of employers and has a depressing effect on wages and health and safety standards. Although Canada does not operate CSPs (better known as export processing zones), it has experience in negotiating trade agreements with countries that do. The best example is Mexico (which uses the term maquiladoras instead of FEZ) and has a similar history of worker exploitation and poor working conditions. The report, released Thursday by the Macdonald Laurier Institute, looks at China`s previous trade deals to show how they are often designed in favor of the Asian manufacturing giant. At the same time, the report highlights ideological differences that could become barriers to true free trade between Canada and China.

Canada is represented by an Embassy in Beijing and Consulates General in Chongqing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Shanghai. These diplomatic missions are supported by a secondary network of 10 trade offices across the country and managed through an agreement with the Canadian Commercial Corporation. In Mexico, the prospects for independent trade union organization are in fact quite limited – and often subject to different forms of state coercion and violence. Yet Mexico has never been sanctioned under the North American Agreement on Labour Cooperation (NAALC). Nevertheless, there has been some communication between governments, businesses and trade unions. As a rule, public institutions or agencies (similar to agreements concluded under the agreements of the International Labour Organization and the World Trade Organization – of which China is already a member) are held responsible for the settlement of labour and trade disputes. However, the most important point to be made here is that a labour agreement would allow Canada to cooperate more closely with and within China to help improve working conditions. This is no different from the $65 million in foreign assistance that Canada offered to China in 2005 to improve its legal system. A free trade agreement would be a long-term agreement between the two countries and would likely require both sides to increase trade and improve working conditions, which would clearly benefit China from a human rights perspective.

As already noted, Canada can indeed become a more instrumental part of China`s political evolution. But Ottawa`s reluctance to approve a broader trade or investment deal with the PRC remains a mystery…

September 16, 2021 - Posted by | Uncategorized