LILLEY: Canada could be hit by fight between Washington and Beijing


Brian Lilley, Opinion, Toronto Sun

August 6, 2019


Canada is about to get hit again by China, even if it is only the spillover effect from the trade war boiling over between Washington and Beijing.


Over the weekend, China retaliated against American tariffs on Chinese goods by banning agricultural imports from the United States by state-owned companies.


They also started to devalue their currency a move that saw the White House label Beijing a ‘currency manipulator’ and file a complaint with the International Monetary Fund.


This latest battle could last for some time, according US President Donald Trump who tweeted, “I’ll do it again next year if necessary!”


So what does this mean for Canada?


We’re already suffering collateral damage from helping the United States deal with Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou.


Two Canadians — Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig — have been held for more than 7 months now.


China has also taken retaliatory measures against Canada’s canola, soybean, pork and beef producers.


The most immediate impact of these latest changes in the trade war could be Canadian exports becoming more expensive in China.


As China devalues its currency, our exporters have a tougher time selling to them, even as goods they send us become cheaper and easier to buy.


Charles Burton, an expert on China and senior fellow with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute’s Centre for Advancing Canada’s Interests Abroad says that in another era, China and the United States embroiled in a trade war could have helped our producers get more market share.


But not now.


“Due to our ongoing dispute with China and China’s sanctions against us, I don’t think this will positively impact on Canadian agricultural exports to China,” Burton said.


“They’ll be sourcing their soybeans from Brazil.”


As Canada continues to take an economic beating from China, Burton says...