BEIJING – Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participated in a forum with Canadian and Chinese business executives, ahead of a meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Tuesday, where bilateral trade deal negotiations are expected to dominate discussions.
Trudeau attended the roundtable discussion entitled “Educating Girls of Rural China” and met with business executives from China and Canada Tuesday morning, and was due to follow it up with a state dinner with Xi.
On Monday, Trudeau had met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang for the second Annual Leaders’ Dialogue and a dinner at the Great Hall of the People, after which the Canadian Prime Minister’s office highlighted its commitment to pursuing trade that “benefits everyone, that puts people first and reflects Canadian values, especially when it comes to the environment, labor, and gender.”
Canada is exploring a possible free trade deal and increased partnerships with China, particularly in light of the US’s potential withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Talks to renegotiate NAFTA were opened in the summer.
Speaking to reporters after his meeting with Li Keqiang, Trudeau said “Canada is committed to moving forward on progressive trade deals that involve things like chapters on gender, on the environment, on labor. China is very aware that this is a precedent as they move forward with the first trade deal with a G7 country and there’s a desire to make sure that we get it right.”