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Huawei CFO Arrested in Vancouver

Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of China’s Huawei Technologies and the daughter of its founder, Ren Zhengfei, was arrested at Vancouver International Airport at the request of American law enforcement authorities. Suspected of violating US trade sanctions against Iran, Meng faced extradition to the United States. The Chinese embassy in Ottawa, however, denied Meng had broken any laws and demanded her immediate release. She was released on C$10 million bail on 11 December and confined to one of her two Vancouver homes. Her arrest sparked a diplomatic crisis between China and Canada that saw China detain at least 13 Canadians in retaliation.

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Canada and the World Trade Organization

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only international organization that regulates global trade. It is based in Geneva, Switzerland. Canada is one of its 164 members. The country plays a central role in the WTO and was also a key member of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade that preceded it. In addition to helping craft the WTO’s dispute resolution systems, Canada is among those countries most directly involved in its trade dispute cases.

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Canada Agrees to Join Trade Accord with US and Mexico

After more than a year of negotiations with the United States and Mexico, Canada reached a last-minute agreement to sign a new NAFTA deal. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will retain the Chapter 19 dispute resolution clause but will also allow greater access to Canada’s dairy market. The USMCA was set to be signed at the end of November 2018 and then sent to the three national legislative bodies for ratification.

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Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)

The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) is a free trade agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico. It is a revised and renamed version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The leaders of the three countries signed CUSMA in November 2018 after 13 months of intense negotiations that concluded in September. Canada was the last country to pass enabling legislation, which received royal assent on 13 March 2020. The agreement came into effect on 1 July 2020.

CUSMA is expected to have only a modest impact on economic growth. However, it could have a major impact on the restructuring of the North American economy. It may also limit Canada’s policy options in moving to a new economy based on knowledge, data and intellectual property.

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Pacific Rim Trade Deal Takes Effect

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) came into effect after being renegotiated due to the United States’ withdrawal from the deal in 2016. The free trade deal is expected to add $4.2 billion per year to Canada’s GDP and increase Canada’s annual exports to Japan by $1.8 billion. It is expected to be especially beneficial to Canada’s pork, beef and sugar industries, while Canada’s dairy and steel industries have been critical of the pact.

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Commodities in Canada

In commerce, commodities are interchangeable goods or services. Many natural resources in Canada are viewed as commodities. They are a major source of the country’s wealth. Examples of commodities include a barrel of crude oil, an ounce of gold, or a contract to clear snow during the winter. Commodity products often supply the production of other goods or services. Many are widely traded in futures exchanges (see Commodity Trading).

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General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was an international trade agreement. It was signed by 23 nations, including Canada, in 1947 and came into effect on 1 January 1948. It was refined over eight rounds of negotiations, which led to the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO). It replaced the GATT on 1 January 1995. The GATT was focused on trade in goods. It aimed to liberalize trade by reducing tariffs and removing quotas among member countries. Each member of the GATT was expected to open its markets equally to other member nations, removing trade discrimination. The agreements negotiated through GATT reduced average tariffs on industrial goods from 40 per cent (1947) to less than five per cent (1993). It was an early step towards economic globalization.

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Automotive Industry

The automotive industry includes the production of cars and car parts (see automobile). Since the early 20th century, it has been one of Canada’s most significant manufacturing industries, as well as a key driver of Canada’s manufactured imports and exports, employment and overall industrial production. (See also Manufacturing in Canada; Industry in Canada.) Though dominated by foreign firms (largely American), Canada boasts a strong domestic parts manufacturing sector that emerged in the last part of the 20th century. Concentrated in Southern Ontario, Canada’s auto sector evolved as a consequence of industrial policies such as protectionism and free trade.

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Former Finance Minister and Diplomat Michael Wilson Dies at Age 81

A former Progressive Conservative MP for Etobicoke Centre, Wilson served in Parliament for more than ten years. He was finance minister and minister of international trade under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Wilson was Canada’s ambassador to the United States from 2006 to 2009 and served as chancellor of the University of Toronto from 2012 to 2018.

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Oil and Gas Policy in Canada, 1947–80

Federal and provincial governments have regulated, taxed and controlled the development of Canada’s oil industry for much of its history. Governments have been particularly active in these capacities since it became clear, in the late 1940s, that Canada could become an exporting nation. From the early 1960s to the early 1970s, the federal government increased its role in an effort to help develop the oil industry. From 1973 until the early 1980s, the federal government also worked to end Canada’s dependence on foreign oil.

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Exports from Canada

Exports are goods or services that residents of one country sell to residents of another country. Since its earliest days, Canada’s economic prosperity has relied on exports to larger markets; first through its colonial ties to Britain and later due to its geographic proximity to the United States. Billions of dollars of goods and services cross Canada’s border each year. (See International Trade.) Exports make up about a third of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP). In 2019, Canadians exported $729 billion worth of goods and services. Almost 75 per cent of Canada’s total exports go to the United States. (See Canada-US Economic Relations.) Other major markets include the European Union, China and Japan.

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Imports to Canada

In international trade, imports refer to goods and services purchased by Canadian residents from residents of other countries. Billions of dollars of goods and services cross Canada’s border each year. In 2019, Canadians imported a total of $768 billion worth of goods and services. Canada’s largest source of imports by far is the United States. (See Canada-US Economic Relations.) The European Union, China and Mexico are also major sources of imported goods and services.

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Meng Wanzhou Hearing Begins

The extradition hearing for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou began in Vancouver. She was arrested by the RCMP in December 2018 at the request of US officials, on the grounds that she had violated US sanctions against Iran. In retaliation, the Chinese government detained two Canadian citizens — Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor — in China.

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Garbage Dispute with the Philippines Ends

The Philippines lifted its bans on travel to Canada and interacting with Canadian officials. It had imposed the bans after Canada missed a 15 May deadline to remove 69 shipping containers filled with garbage. The containers were mislabelled as recycling and had been sitting in Philippine ports for up to six years. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte had threatened to declare war on Canada if the garbage was not taken back.