Ottawa free trade talks with China

BEIJING, CHINA - FEBRUARY 08:  Chinese Premier...

OTTAWA — The Conservative government is expected to announce in the coming days that it has cleared the first hurdle towards free trade talks with China.

Canada and China launched a joint study during Prime Minister Stephen Harper‘s trip to China in February that is aimed at determining ways to enhance trade and economic activity between the two countries.

The study was to be completed by the end of May, and industry representatives say they have been told the high-level assessment went better than expected.

China has emerged as Canada’s second-largest trading partner after the United States and a major source of foreign investment — including $10 billion into Alberta’s oilsands and B.C.’s shale gas deposits.

Kathleen Sullivan, executive director of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, said members of her association had expected the results of the study to be released last week, but the government seems to be waiting for the right moment.

Whenever the results are released, however, the key question will be what comes next.

via Ottawa inching closer to free trade talks with China.

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