Ottawa has just shown tangible resolve in declaring Canada off-limits to Chinese ownership of Canadian critical minerals. These are minerals essential to the production of electric vehicles (EVs), cellphones, laptop computers, and power from alternative energy technologies.
It’s by no means certain that this recent prohibition is in Canada’s interests. More on that later. Last week, Ottawa ordered Chinese companies to divest their ownership in three junior mining firms based in Canada. The firms plan to develop lithium deposits in Canada, Argentina and Chile.
Lithium-ion batteries power most of the world’s EVs. The feds’ action is partly rooted in a radical proposition called “friend-shoring.”
That new economic and foreign policy doctrine has gained momentum after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the resulting Western effort to isolate Russia economically to force an end to the hostilities.