Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday December 8, 2017
Trudeau hails ‘substantial progress’ in China but fails to spark formal trade talks
If little else came of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s trade mission to China this week, you can at least be sure of this: Canada’s cattlemen are excited to sell more cow stomachs.
For while Trudeau and his coterie of ministers and officials left the country Thursday without proclaiming the anticipated launch of trade talks, there were a few comparative baby steps towards a deeper economic relationship.
Among them was a deal to export more beef and pork, which got John Masswohl of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association pumped about cashing in on parts of the animal that don’t sell in Canada — including the digestive organs of his bovine commodity.
“We think over the next five years that will be another $125 million in exports for us,” Masswohl said this week, referring not just to the stomachs, but the fresh beef and T-bones he now expects to hit the massive Chinese market.
He hastened to add, however, that the government’s broader goal of landing a comprehensive trade deal with the world’s second-largest economy would be even better — for profits, for predictability, for safeguarding against the protectionist impulses of the American president.
Of course, he’s not alone in feeling that way.
Trudeau himself spent much of his time in China extolling the virtues of a trade agreement. In the days before he landed in Beijing, staff from his office framed the trip’s main purpose as a way to ramp up trade and investment with the ever-rising authoritarian powerhouse, and Canada’s industry minister told Global News that the government’s “objective” was to become the first Group of Seven country to launch free trade talks with China. (Continued: Toronto Star)