Harper to sign off on FIPA trade deal before trip to China
Read this Sept. 12 story from CBC.ca, confirming that the Harper government will finally ratify the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with China, following a lengthy delay. The deal has been challenged in Canadian court by First Nations who claim it will infringe on their rights.
The controversial Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) was signed in 2012 and is meant to provide a framework of legal obligations and rights that would enhance foreign investment.
Harper said in 2012 that he “absolutely” expected that it will make a “practical difference.”
China ratified the deal quickly, but the Harper government did not.
Between the Harper government’s failure to ratify the deal and rules restricting state-owned enterprises from buying up companies in the oil patch, the trade relationship has cooled.
There is also a growing divide around the Cabinet table, between those suspicious of allegations of China’s cyberspying, and those who want to increase trade with the Asian country.
The deal has also faced opposition from the NDP, as well as some First Nations group who challenged the agreement in court.
Sources tell CBC the federal government will quietly announce it is ratifying the investment treaty later this afternoon.
The decision to ratify the long-delayed agreement comes just a few months before the prime minister leaves for his third visit to China.
The prime minister will be back in Beijing in November for the APEC summit.
China has been urging Canada to ratify FIPA, and this would likely have been a contentious issue during that trip if the Harper government still had not acted.