Canada is conducting exploratory discussions on bilateral or multilateral free trade agreements with the following countries and trading blocs, although formal negotiations have not yet begun: 2017: Chinese President Xi Jinping is intensifying a campaign to “re-educate” Uighurs, an ethnic group in the Xinjiang region, most of whom are Muslims. Alarming reports of indoctrination and forced labour camps that are the subject of international opinion against Beijing and its signed commercial projects and infrastructure, such as the Belt and Road initiative. Canada is helping to organize diplomatic efforts to blame China in an official letter, much to Beijing`s chagrin. Canada is regularly referred to as a trading nation, with total trade accounting for more than two-thirds of its GDP (the second highest level in the G7 after Germany).   Of all of this trade, approximately 75% are wiretapped with countries that are part of free trade agreements with Canada, particularly with the United States through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  At the end of 2014, bilateral trade in Canada reached $1 trillion for the first time.  The Canada-Hong Kong Double Taxation Prevention Agreement (2013) and the Bilateral Agreement on the Promotion and Protection of Foreign Investment (2016) provide opportunities to further strengthen the strength of bilateral trade and investment relations between Canada and Hong Kong. But all this does not exclude anything that excludes the regular function of trade between Canada and China, which is increasing this year despite the pandemic and persistent tensions. “Political barriers do not exclude trade,” professor Houlden said. “There is a lot of pragmatism in China – and a lot of ideology. But pragmatism is often in a more difficult balance. The 2018 U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement, which replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement, allows signatories to withdraw when a country enters into a free trade agreement with a non-market economy, widely seen as a description of China. Canada`s quest for a free trade agreement with China had already suffered a series of setbacks: Beijing refused to accept Ottawa`s demands for gender, labor and environmental clauses in such an agreement.
The exploratory interviews have not taken place for several years. Canada has made statements of condemnation. It abandoned the desire for an extradition agreement with China and terminated its extradition treaty with Hong Kong after Beijing imposed a new national security law on the city, widely seen as an erosion of its autonomy. “Governments are entering into these free trade agreements so that they can decide when the time is right. I agree with the minister,” said Goldy Hyder, President of the Business Council of Canada. The North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico came into force on January 1, 1994 and created the world`s largest post-GDP free trade region. Until 2014, NAFTA`s GDP was estimated at more than $20 trillion, with a market of 474 million people.   Based on this success, Canada continues to negotiate free trade agreements with more than 40 countries and has free trade agreements, most recently with South Korea, Canada`s first free trade agreement with an Asia-Pacific partner.