The Prime Minister of Canada is called to function as a statesman; someone who builds positive relationship with other countries in order to advocate for the wellbeing of his country and who works to advance Canada’s position on the world stage.
Sadly, Canadians continue to face the negative consequences of Justin Trudeau’s failure in this regard.
Two Canadian citizens have been detained by the Chinese government for more than six months while dozens of other Canadians have been detained on administrative grounds or had their visas questioned. In addition to this, Canadian farmers have lost Chinese market access for meat, canola seed, and soy exports, costing us more than $1 billion to date.
The G20 meeting in Japan was the perfect opportunity for Justin Trudeau to meet with Chinese President, Xi Jinping, and stand up for Canada by making it clear that there are consequences for arbitrarily detaining our citizens and abruptly blocking our agriculture exports. Trudeau squandered his opportunity and Canadians are the ones bearing the cost.
Our canola farmers are paying for it. Our beef producers are paying for it. And Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig are paying for it.
If Justin Trudeau continues to allow this situation to escalate, we can only expect the costs to worsen over the summer, and into the fall. Canadians deserve a Prime Minister who isn’t afraid to stand up to China in defense of our citizens and industry. Under the leadership of Andrew Scheer, my colleagues and I continue to call on Prime Minister Trudeau to take retaliatory action against China and send the message that Canada will not bullied on the world stage.
As long as the Chinese government is willing to hold our exports and our citizens hostage, while committing human rights violations, we have no other choice but to fight back.
At minimum, the Prime Minister should take this trade dispute to the World Trade Organization and pull the investment of $250 million Canadian taxpayer dollars from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
Furthermore, Trudeau should increase inspections on all Chinese imports, review all investments coming from China, and consider potential retaliatory tariffs on Chinese imports.
Canadians are working hard to provide high-quality products for export and drive our economy. You deserve a government that is willing to work as hard as you do to defend Canada’s economy on the world stage.
In four months, Canadians will head to the polls to determine the next Prime Minister of Canada. Andrew Scheer is committed to defending Canada’s interests by maintaining positive diplomatic relations with our trading partners and taking a strong stand when Canada is treated unfairly.