Quiet ratification of FIPA locks Canada into a bad deal for 31 years

OTTAWA – After a two year delay, the Conservatives today ratified a controversial Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) with China that will give China’s state-controlled companies the same protection under the law as private Canadian companies.

 “Instead of admitting their mistake and getting a deal that actually benefits Canadian companies, the Conservatives have locked Canada into a badly one-sided agreement for the next three decades,” said NDP International Trade critic Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway). “In effect, it will give China access to, and control over, some of Canada’s natural resources for the next 31 years, and subject Canadian taxpayers to enormous liabilities through investor lawsuits,” he underlined.

Davies reiterated the importance of engaging with China and other emerging markets, while providing clear rules that give confidence to investors and also protect and promote Canada’s interests. The FIPA, however, offers business advantages to Chinese companies without giving Canadian companies operating in China the same benefits. New Democrats led the fight against FIPA in Parliament, while the Liberals joined with the Conservatives to support the agreement.

“This deal was negotiated in secret, and no wonder – it does nothing to level the playing field and ratifying it is not in Canada’s best interest,” said Guy Caron, Deputy International Trade critic (Rimouski-Neigette–Témiscouata–Les Basques). “Canadians will pay the price for the Conservatives’ incompetent and secretive approach to this FIPA.”