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USMCA’s ‘China clause’ may force Canada to consider sectoral trade, but experts question if China would have any interest

By Neil Moss      

'China has not shown a lot of enthusiasm for sectoral deals,' says Charles Burton, a former aide in Canada's embassy in Beijing.

Questions loom over the future of a China-Canada trade pact, following the inclusion of the so-called 'China clause' in the USMCA. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, is pictured with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, in Centre Block in 2016, when the potential for a Sino-Canada trade pact was more hopeful. The Hill Times file photograph

With the completion of a new North American free trade pact, Canada’s trade aspirations are shifting to China, but a clause in the USMCA pact makes a China-Canada free trade deal nearly impossible, which may lead Canada to instead seek a sectoral trade agreement, though it’s unclear if China would be interested, say experts.

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