Bilateral trade hits record levels in 2020 . . .
China’s proportion of bilateral Canadian trade has risen to record levels, as the impact of COVID-19 roils two-way commerce with the U.S. And Canada’s top diplomat in China is calling for even greater ties, stating, “The weight of the world is shifting and has shifted toward Asia, so we need to do more in China.” The remarks made by Canadian Ambassador to China Dominic Barton come as we mark close to two years in a series of bilateral spats. Indeed, Canada has shelved the idea of a free-trade agreement with China, with Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne recently opining that it is not worth pursuing. Canada is now at a crossroads in its growing trade relationship.
During the pandemic, China’s economy grows . . .
Yesterday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned of diverging paths between more affluent countries and China, which are recovering more quickly, and poorer countries. China is the only large economy expected to expand in 2020, with 1.9 per cent projected growth this year. With a projected 8.2 per cent boom in 2021, China will grow far faster than the globe’s rate of growth and would be almost the sole driver of global growth next year. The IMF specifically noted China’s strong trade in exports of health-care supplies and technology products needed to aid remote working elsewhere in the world.
China’s policies present numerous challenges to trade . . .
New record Chinese stock market highs of C$13 trillion today also signal a strong recovery in China. However, these heady trends are vulnerable to the increasing anti-China rhetoric from Washington and U.S. sanction threats on major Chinese firms such as Tencent and Ant Financial. Challenges facing Canadian business engagement with China, other than the strained political environment, include the unpredictability of China’s trade behaviour, highlighted by its various bans on agricultural imports. Further challenges and issues in trading with China range from intellectual property rights and Beijing’s interventionist policies to state-owned competitors, cyber economic espionage, and discriminatory innovation policies favouring domestic firms.
- Bloomberg: China-Canada trade is going strong despite Huawei feud
- Financial Times: China’s stock market value hits record high of more than $10tn
- The Globe and Mail: Canada abandons free-trade talks with China in shift for Trudeau government