Saturday December 02, 2017

Canada needs to reassure Japan ahead of China trip, says John Manley

Listen 9:12

Some business leaders worry Justin Trudeau's China trip might come with a cost, after the Prime Minister declined two weeks ago to sign the TPP - a trade deal that include Japan, Australia and eight other Pacific Rim nations.

Three weeks ago, the 11 Trans-Pacific Partnership countries reached an agreement on "core elements" of the trade pact, namely that all countries will adhere to strict labour and environment standards.

A final agreement in principle is still in the works because the countries have not settled on all aspects of the deal.

John Manley, the CEO of the Business Council of Canada, just returned from Japan, where Trudeau's China visit, and the possibility of free trade talks beginning, is viewed with alarm.

"I think the signal to the Japanese should be very clear... that this is not to the exclusion of the TPP," Manley told The House.

Manley encouraged Justin Trudeau to reach out to his Japanese counterpart to reassure him.

 "I think it would be a very easy thing for the Prime Minister to call Prime Minister Abe, and I think it needs to be the Prime Minister."

A spokesman for the PMO declined  to say whether Trudeau has called Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.