If, and it’s a Big IF, an article by Robert Fife in today’s Globe and Mail is correct and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau intends to accomplish a “long-range goal of achieving a pivotal free-trade deal with China,” then we, Conservatives should applaud him and wish him well. Free trade is good policy, regardless of who is proposing it.
Any fair reading of global history, for about the last 1,500+ years, will show that trade, trade that is more free than constrained by tariffs, has has mid to long term benefits for almost everyone.
It is true that there are, equally, always some “losers” in any trade deal, free or not, especially in the short term. I expect a chorus of nay-sayers from the left and, in this case, the ill-informed anti-Trudeau right on any more to establish free(er) trade with China … this, that or the other political ox will be gored. It is all :”zero-sum” politics and “devil take the hindmost” economic theory ~ and the latter is, demonstrably, not true.
We, Conservatives, supported Prime Minister Chrétien’s several trade missions to China, despite the reservations many hold about the Chinese regime, and we were right to do so. We should do the same with Prime Minister Trudeau … IF he is really intent on securing a better, more open trade deal. There are still an awful lot of people out there who want, even need to buy the things (resources, finished goods and services) we produce.
Edited to add: Here is a model for what Prime Minister Trudeau should aim to achieve and what the Conservative Party of Canada should support.