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View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you.
Thank you to both of you for your excellent presentations and for your service to Canada in your former roles.
I hear you when you say that there is no such thing as a China policy writ large, but surely this is what you're telling us to do. We need more policy. We need to be firmer with this. We need to have rules about that. We need to take action on this, that and the other thing. Fair enough, because that's what we're here for, I think. It's to try to figure out what those elements are.
Let me just put it to you that the material we received from Global Affairs Canada noted that of Canada's top 10 exports to China in 2018, eight were either natural resources or agricultural products that are “vulnerable to sudden and arbitrary trade disruptions”, which we've seen, of course, in the past year. Given that, and given your suggestion that we follow the route of Australia, to some extent, in terms of some of the rules—we saw what happened to them in the years following that, as well as to Norway—should we be prepared to accept, in doing this, that with these kinds of disruptions, we can't count on having agricultural trade with China even though it's helpful to our food security, etc.? Would that be what we'd be inviting if we started adopting these rules holus-bolus? I'm not saying that we should or shouldn't; I'm just asking you if that would be the result.
My question is for both of you.
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