Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has jetted off to China for his second visit, in which many believed would result in the announcement that Canada and China would enter into a free trade agreement.
Trudeau first visited China as Prime Minister back in 2016, and a free trade deal has been a focal point of discussion between the two countries for over a year.
Anticipation was high leading up to the trip, as if a free trade deal had been announced, it would make Canada the first of the G7 countries to enter into a free trade agreement with China.
This however appears not to be the case, at least not yet anyway as after a long day of talks on Monday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang stated that the two sides would continue having “exploratory” talks on a trade deal.
Despite having clearly enjoyed a good day of open communication with great dialogue, neither side hinted as to why a potential free trade agreement was not finalized.
While no big announcement was made, the day was not a total waste as the two leaders made three deals;an agreement to expand trade in agriculture, an action plan to combat climate change, and a memorandum of understanding for a joint learning initiative.
“We believe that done properly a trade agreement would benefit both countries, creating jobs, strengthening the middle class, and growing our economies,” Trudeau said.
“Canada is, and always has been, a trading nation.”
“We see tremendous potential in such cooperation,” Li said.
“We will continue to work on the FTA — that is, exploratory talks or a feasibility study,” Li added. “China is open to such talks.”