Beijing appreciates Ottawa’s assurance that the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) shouldn’t harm others’ rights and interests, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at a regular press conference on Thursday.
During a phone call with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said that the USMCA shouldn’t harm the legitimate rights and interests of other countries, and Canada will promote its relations with other countries based on its own decisions, Lu told the press briefing.
China has consistently adhered to free trade and maintained a multilateral trade system centered on the World Trade Organization, Lu said.
“We oppose any form of protectionism and double standards. We hope that all regions and free trade arrangements can follow the principles of openness, transparency and inclusiveness, create a freer and more convenient environment for global trade, and enhance the well-being of peoples around the world,” Lu added.
USMCA, a new trade deal between the US, Canada, and Mexico that is likely to take effect in 2020, is being disputed for its clause that shuts out “non-market” economies.
At another press conference on Thursday, Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng criticized the deal and stressed that any free trade zone shall not resort to restrictions and exclusiveness.
“There are no ‘non-market’ economy clauses in WTO rules. It only appears in the laws of some individual members. China opposes any practice of putting the domestic law of one country above international law and imposing the will of a country on others,” Gao said.