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Canada Seeks Input on Potential FTA with China

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

[Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the March 9 issue of the Advisor, a weekly publication of the Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Analysis Program service.]

Following the launch of exploratory discussions with Beijing on Sept. 22, 2016, the Canadian government is now seeking input from businesses, civil society organizations, labor unions, academia, individual Canadians, indigenous groups, and provincial and territorial governments on a potential free trade agreement with China. Submissions must be received no later than June 2 and may address a range of issues, including the following.

- Canadian goods of export or import interest (identified by HS/tariff codes) that would benefit from expedited or phased­in removal of tariffs and other barriers by China or Canada

- trade in services (identification of sectors, activities of export interest for Canadian service providers, market access barriers, and domestic regulatory measures that either restrict or affect their ability to conduct business or deliver their service in China)

- temporary entry of business people from Canada into China and from China into Canada (e.g., any impediments when entering China, or Canada, to work on a temporary basis)

- electronic commerce (e.g., restrictive measures faced by Canadian suppliers of digital products and services in China)

- non-­tariff barriers (such as import licensing, administration of tariff-­rate quotas, taxes, lack of transparency), technical barriers to trade (including technical regulations, standards, or conformity assessment procedures), and sanitary and phytosanitary measures

- rules of origin, including the appropriate rules of origin for specific products or sectors

- border and customs issues that have an impact on the movement of commercial goods into and out of China

- investment barriers faced by Canadian investors in China, including restrictions imposed on foreign ownership or entry to market, questions of transparency of regulation, and performance requirements

- priority government procurement markets for Canadian suppliers in China at the central, provincial, and local levels, the goods and services that Canadian suppliers are interested in selling to those government organizations, and barriers faced when selling or attempting to sell to governments in China

- any incident affecting business practices when interacting with Chinese state­-owned enterprises (in Canada or in China)

- China’s application and enforcement of intellectual property laws, regulations, policies, or procedures that may result in discrimination against foreign intellectual property, and any requirements for the sharing or transfer of IP or confidential business information

- competition policy matters, including competition law enforcement or other measures affecting competition in China

- preferred approach to trade remedies taken on trade between China and Canada

- any incidents of unfair business practices

- reflection of the interests and values of Canadians, including sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, transparency, equality, good governance, rule of law, non­discrimination, respect for the environment, culture, labor rights, and human rights

- enhancement of the bilateral economic relationship, including cooperation on science and technology, climate change, cultural and creative industries, and health and the environment

- other topics, such as risks to Canadian consumers and to Canada’s plant and animal resource base resulting from the import of goods from China, and any other topics of interest or potential concern to Canadians related to a potential FTA

The government believes that an eventual FTA with China could result in economic gains for Canada by creating opportunities for Canadian firms that are looking to grow their business in international markets and by improving market access conditions for Canadian businesses operating in China. Canadian consumers may also benefit from such an agreement as a result of enhanced access to safe and affordable goods from China.

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