The Canadian pivot away from the U.S. and into the arms of China

Yesterday we saw the beginning of the end for the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in Europe as both France and Germany rejected the secret agreement due to its draconian mandates which pretty much make the whole of Europe 'subjects' of Washington and of multi-national corporations.

But the Trans-Pacific Partnership is of course another story as President Obama was able to get 12 nations to sign onto it back in February, including neighboring states like Canada and Mexico.

And while it is expected to take a number of years to iron out all the details between the states that signed onto the TPP, an interesting thing is occurring in the interim for one of these countries as Canada appears now to be pivoting Eastward, and is reaching out to join China in their vision of free trade.

On Aug. 31, Canadian Justin Minister Pierre Trudeau traveled to China for the first time since coming to office to participate in this weekend's G20 meeting in Hangzhou.  And along the way, Trudeau spent time this morning in Beijing to meet with the Chinese Premier to discuss creating a feasibility study to open the door for free trade between the two countries.

A feasibility study into a free trade zone between China and Canada is to be undertaken, according to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang after the meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“China and Canada have multi-vector cooperation in trade and the economy. The parties have agreed to prepare a feasibility study for the establishment of a free trade zone between China and Canada as soon as possible,” the premier said at a news conference with Trudeau.
China is Canada’s second-largest trading partner after the US.

The two countries should send a signal to the global community to defend the liberalization of international trade and promote simpler implementation of investments, according to the Chinese premier.

The previous government of Canada had considered the issue, but did nothing concrete.

— Russia Today

Yet surprisingly this meeting and planned study are not the only two initiatives being undertaken between Canada and China today.  In a move sure to anger Washington, Canada officially submitted an application to join the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB) this morning, which also just happened to correspond with China's inaugural selling of M SDR bonds.

President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Jin Liqun on Wednesday welcomed the Canadian decision to apply for membership of the bank, the AIIB said in a press release. “The decision of Canada to apply to join AIIB is very welcome and shows its confidence in the strong foundations the Bank has built in our first few months. Canada has a remarkable track record of multilateral engagement, and I believe it will contribute significantly to the development of this Bank,” Jin said at a joint press conference with Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

— Sputnik News

Needless to say, it appears that the U.S. is not amused by Canada's sudden shift in allegiances and perhaps in response to their new Chinese pivot, the White House on Monday issued an announcement stating they President Obama intends to push for the completion of the TPP before his term in office ends in January of 2017.

The outgoing Obama administration announced on Monday that the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade and investment deal with 12 Pacific Rim nations could be finalized and go into effect before the sitting President leaves office at noon, 20 January, 2017. In light of broadening opposition to the deal from both the right and the left, with GOP nominee Donald Trump being the most vocal opponent of such trade agreements, the current administration is pushing the deal through, motivated primarily by political considerations rather than economic reasoning.

The current administration sees the US losing political influence in the Pacific Rim, and is attempting to solidify its cooperation with perceived US allies in the region by promoting a greater interconnectedness, which it hopes to achieve through the power of multinational corporations.

— Sputnik News

With the decline in oil prices over the past year, Canada's economy has cratered and the country is desperate to expand their markets especially in light of Barack Obama's unwillingness to sign on to the Keystone Pipeline initiative which would have aided Canada's oil export capabilities.  And with the U.S. being mired in their own financial woes and need to debase the global reserve currency to try to stimulate their own economy, the primary alternative for Canada is to look towards the one country opening its doors to real free trade and investment, and this will be another feather in the cap of China's drive to become the world's number one economic power.