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Harper OKs Canada-China foreign investment deal after lengthy delay

CBC | 12 Sep 2014

Harper OKs Canada-China foreign investment deal after lengthy delay

Canada-China FIPA deal caused controversy within Harper cabinet

By Susan Lunn, CBC News

The controversial Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) was signed in 2012 and is meant to provide a framework of legal obligations and rights that would enhance foreign investment.

Harper said in 2012 that he "absolutely" expected that it will make a "practical difference."

China ratified the deal quickly, but the Harper government did not.

Between the Harper government’s failure to ratify the deal and rules restricting state-owned enterprises from buying up companies in the oil patch, the trade relationship has cooled.

There is also a growing divide around the Cabinet table, between those suspicious of allegations of China’s cyberspying, and those who want to increase trade with the Asian country.

The deal has also faced opposition from the NDP, as well as some First Nations group who challenged the agreement in court.

Sources tell CBC the federal government will quietly announce it is ratifying the investment treaty later this afternoon.

The decision to ratify the long-delayed agreement comes just a few months before the prime minister leaves for his third visit to China.

The prime minister will be back in Beijing in November for the APEC summit.

China has been urging Canada to ratify FIPA, and this would likely have been a contentious issue during that trip if the Harper government still had not acted.

Canada has similar agreements with dozens of other countries. It clarifies rules for companies investing in either country.

 source: CBC