Canada's envoy to Beijing on Thursday threw cold water on long-sought free trade between the two nations as an ugly diplomat spat over Canada's detention of a top Chinese tech executive drags into a second month. Ambassador John McCallum, who returned to Canada to brief lawmakers on the row, told reporters that Canadian businesses want to press on with growing the trade relationship.
But, he added, exploratory talks on free trade that started in September 2016 are now dead and unlikely to be revived in the forseeable future. "We are certainly not negotiating free trade with China either before or after this. So it's not on the table right now," McCallum told reporters. "Canada has invested a lot in China," he said. "Our tourist industry, our universities, our farmers are all highly dependent on China and I think China will still play a very important part in Canada's future."