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by Daniel Gloade on November 11, 2014

It would be foolish if Canadians ignore China’s economy.  China has the largest economy in the world.  Canada will fall behind all other nations unless it ensures that it trades with China.  The recent Sino-Canadian trade deal is a reflection of this new reality.  You can find an article about this deal here.

There are good reasons, however, why Canada should avoid integrating too closely with China.  One reason is purely economic.  Currently, Canada’s economy is expanding faster than other Western countries because other countries have closely tied their economies with China.  As China slows trade to develop its domestic economy, the economies of its close trading partners also slows.  There is good news in the local paper.  You can find this article here.

As the earlier newspaper article points out, Canada and China are opposed regarding both security and human rights issues.  It is hard to say whether closer economic ties will address or worsen these concerns

There is another reason, however, why Canada should maintain some distance with China.  Both Canada and China have poor international environmental reputations.  Much of Canada’s growth arises from foreign countries willingly ‘outsourcing” their carbon-releasing economic activities.  In Canada, it is the fuel from the tar sands.  In China, pollution comes from manufactured goods.  If there is a pipeline to facilitate oil transfer from Canada to China, then there is a greater connection between our two polluting economies.   People may soon realise that their country’s good environmental record is due to buying inexpensive goods from polluting nations.

Canada must be able to maintain a vibrant economy even if Chinese trading decreases for any of the reasons recorded above.  It would be unwise for Canadians to focus too narrowly on economic growth through China.

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