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NEWS: Barlow criticizes Canada-China FIPA

The Canadian Press reports, “A raft of agreements between Canada and China may see the two countries ready to set sail on free trade talks. …The spectre of a free trade deal was raised as the two countries released a joint statement committing to complete an joint economic study by May.”

“‘The signing of a Canada China FIPA (foreign investment promotion and protection agreement) undermines any talk of human rights that Harper may raise on this trip,’ said Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. ‘This investment deal will give Canadian corporations operating in China a tool to fight any improvements in human rights, labour, or environmental standards in that country. Conversely, Chinese investors in the Alberta tar sands will use it to fight higher environmental standards in the Canadian energy sector.'”

“The potential political fall-out from Canada-China free trade talks was made evident in a Canadian Press-Harris Decima survey suggesting Canadians are wary of having the Chinese play a controlling role in the domestic economy. …In the Canadian Press-Harris Decima survey released Thursday, 51 per cent of Canadians polled welcomed Chinese investment when it helps fuel business that otherwise wouldn’t get off the ground. But the poll suggests Canadians are less enthused about the Chinese having a controlling stake in Canadian-owned or operated companies. …Forty-nine per cent of those polled feel Chinese companies taking over an existing foreign-owned company operating in Canada is bad or very bad, while 71 per cent felt Chinese companies taking a majority controlling interest in an existing Canadian-owned operation is a bad thing.”

For campaign blogs related to ‘free trade’ between Canada and China, please see http://canadians.org/blog/?s=%22Canada%22+%2B+%22china%22+%2B+%22free+trade%22.

For Barlow’s commentary “Harper Deals Threaten Human Rights and the Environment in Canada and China”, go to http://canadians.org/blog/?p=13498.