Impact of U.S.-China tension on Canada unclear, new ambassador says

Canada can balance U.S., China: McCallum

OTTAWA — The federal government’s new ambassador to China says Canada can cultivate strong ties there without jeopardizing its relationship with the U.S.

But former immigration minister John McCallum, who was appointed ambassador earlier this month, says it’s also too early to tell whether Canada could be caught in the crossfire of a potential trade war.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to take punitive economic measures against China, which he accuses of destroying the U.S. economy.

If China retaliates with measures of its own, some see the potential for a tit-for-tat tariff dispute that could drag Canada’s economy down as well.

Then there’s the diplomatic question of what could happen if Canada is seen to be prioritizing one relationship over the other.

But McCallum says Canada can, in his words, “walk and chew gum at the same time” when it comes to working with both countries and his job is to focus on improved relations with China.

 

The Canadian Press

Canadian Press