Chinese ambassador hopes to speed trade talks with Canada amid protectionism

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TORONTO — China’s ambassador to Canada says his country hopes to speed up bilateral trade talks amid a rise of protectionism.

Lu Shaye, speaking through a translator, says he hopes to make progress on a free trade agreement with Canada but that there has been little progress on some issues.

Canada has pushed for a progressive trade deal with China that would also cover some labour, environment, gender and governance issues.

China has rejected such measures and Shaye says there has not been much progress so far.

Shaye says he hopes issues not directly related to trade won’t influence future trade talks and negotiations between Canada and China.

However, he says Chinese companies will also be more cautious about investing in Canada after the federal government blocked the Chinese takeover of the Aecon construction firm.

The Canadian Press