Sask. Premier Brad Wall supports free trade with China

Saskatchewan's premier is encouraging the prime minister to pursue a free trade deal with China, something Justin Trudeau has talked about since last fall when he met with China's president at the G20 summit.

Province's exports to China have tripled since 2007

'If this is true, I credit the Prime Minister,' says Saskatchewan Premier. 8:10

Saskatchewan's premier is encouraging the prime minister to pursue a free trade deal with China, something Justin Trudeau has talked about since last fall when he met with China's president at the G20 summit.

Brad Wall says the Asian country is already an important market for Saskatchewan food, potash and recently, uranium.

It's the province's second largest market, with the value of exports tripling from $847.9M in 2007 to $2.82 billion in 2014.

"I just think we're better off to have a solid trade relationship with China than to be without it," Wall told reporters on Thursday.

He says recent issues with the Chinese stock market and its currency will be temporary, compared to the long-term importance of a trade deal.

"The trade deal piece should always take the long view. Our federal government is right to take the long view of the importance of the Asian economy and specifically China," Wall said.

"I also think we're in a better position as Canadians to have discussions on human rights, to have discussions with respect to the North Korean situation right now that's going on," he added.

"We're always going to be in a better position to have discussions with a country with whom we have stronger ties than if there's some sort of enmity between them."

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