Amid the uncertainty around Canadian companies’ access to the U.S. market, Teck Resources CEO Don Lindsay has added his voice to those calling for a free trade agreement between Canada and China. Speaking at a mining exploration conference in Vancouver this week, he pointed to Australia’s bilateral pact with China, which came into effect a year ago, as a model.
“Australia has successfully completed a trade deal that has eliminated 95% of trade tariffs between the two countries,” Lindsay said. “Meanwhile we have duties on our coal.”
Whereas U.S. President Donald Trump has proposed spending US$1 trillion on infrastructure over 10 years, Lindsay noted, “China spends a trillion on infrastructure in about 11 months.”
He also referred to a 2016 white paper by the Canada-China Business Council and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives that projected such a deal would increase Canada’s GDP by $7.8 billion, boost exports by $7.7 billion and create 25,000 jobs by 2030.
“Australia recognized 15 years ago that its economic future lay with Asia in general and with China in particular,” Lindsay said. “The stronger our relationship with our industry’s top market by far, the better off we all will be.”
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