With Peking, it’s never just about free trade

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With Peking, it’s never just about free trade


Brad Salzberg

Like it or not, Canada opens exploratory free-trade talks with China on Monday with an initial four-day session in Beijing. Opinion polls indicate most Canadians do not want further political-economic integration with China, but elements of Canada’s business elite, with lucrative connections to Chinese business networks, are lobbying the Prime Minister’s Office hard to push on. 
Brad: Such is the state of our nation under global-boy Justin Trudeau.
Among them are wealthy friends of our political-party leaders and Chinese nationals who we have recently learned attend political fundraisers even though Canadian law forbids them from making party contributions.
Brad: What does something as benign as Canadian law mean to these communist billionaires? Probably about as much as the law means back in the motherland…absolutely nothing.
But a Canada-China deal implies much more than removing tariff barriers to the flow of goods and services. China sees FTAs as a geopolitical strategy,good not just for enhancing economic interests but advancing its long-term foreign-policy goals.
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China sees similar advantage in weaning Canada away from our economic and political alliance with the United States.
Brad: Have no worries…Trudeau is with you on this one. Like his father, Justin admires the dictatorship in China and loathes Americanism.
Canada has already ceded ground on this, making recent concessions – with no promise whatsoever of reciprocal considerations – to ease limits on Chinese state investment in Canada; seize and repatriate assets of certain Chinese nationals in Canada; and (inexplicably) reverse a national security review that prevented a Beijing-backed concern from buying Canadian advanced laser technology with military application for directed-energy weapons that China is desperate to develop.
Brad: Translation…Justin and his Sunny gang of globalists are a menace. Whether its pushing for Islamic domination by way of M103, or capitulating to the motherland on their geo-political ambitions, JT is hell-bent upon fulfilling the role he was groomed for: to destroy Canadian sovereignty in the name of a globalist agenda not a single Canadian asked for.
The other concern is whether, ultimately, Canada can even bring home a deal that actually expands our share of the Chinese market.
Brad: If they did, it would be an unprecedented miracle. In the history of Canada’s relationship with the behemoth nation, a state of reciprocity has yet to manifest after over a century years of business “partnering.”
We know that Ambassador John McCallum is feeling an intense burden to show progress before the next election, but the precedent of our previous Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with China – which made considerable concessions to Beijing on labour and environmental standards, and delivered little benefit to Canadian investors in China – does not bode well.
Brad: Sending McCallum to do this job is like placing Iqra Khalid in charge of a Liberal government “Christian Revitalization” program.

Beijing knows the government of Canada is under pressure to land a deal; they already sense a negotiating advantage and will hang tough on making any meaningful concessions to close.

Brad: Under pressure from whom? Ever notice that with anything and everything related to China’s integration into Canadian society, everything is MUST DO and MUST HAPPEN and PRESSURE IS ENORMOUS.

It’s a myth. Canadians do not want this and they have said so in multiple polls. But of course, these forces are communist, so the will of the public means nothing to them.

Strange, as this is also true of our prime minister…

Any FTA with China should be ironclad, with mechanisms that ensure China will follow the letter and spirit of an agreement that inviolably guarantees Canada will enjoy mutually reciprocal benefits.

Brad: This, and a dollar, will get you a cup of coffee at Mc’Donalds.

The Canadian government should be fully accountable to prepare measures to address concomitant concerns over Canadian sovereignty, security and our commitment to the universal norms of human rights that are inevitably part and parcel of getting closer to China.

Canadians must demand transparency and an honest debate on what we are getting into with China. But will we get it?

Brad: Don’t be absurd.

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