NATIONAL PULSE – Three in five want less trade between Canada and China


January 10, 2022 – As the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing intensifies the international spotlight on China, new data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds many worrying about the economic costs of standing up to the world’s second largest economy.

Canada will not be sending delegates to the Winter Olympics in February, the first time since 1980 that the country has undertaken a diplomatic boycott.

While half of Canadians supported the move in November, three-in-five (58%) worry such diplomatic actions will come with negative consequences to Canada’s economy. There are signs that the diplomatic boycott may be the beginning of a new era in the Sino-Canadian relationship as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau brings in deputy minister of National Defence Jody Thomas as his new national security adviser. Thomas, the former commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard, has been described as “hawkish” on China.

As of 2020, China represented over $100 billion worth of trade into and out of Canada. Even so, a majority of Canadians prefer their country would deal with China less. Three-in-five (61%) say they want Canada to trade less with China, while one-quarter (24%) say the country is as good a trade partner as any.

Of Canadians who want their country to deal with China less, three-in-ten (28%) believe it’s possible to do so without negatively affecting Canada’s economy at all. A further three-in-five (60%) believe Canada could reduce its reliance on China for trade with a minor economic impact.

Still, many wonder if diplomatic actions taken by Canada would make any difference at all. Seven-in-ten (73%) believe it’s unrealistic that anything Canada does will change China’s behaviour. Past Conservative voters are the most likely believe Canada is powerless to affect China (79%) while past Liberal (25%) and NDP voters (24%) are the most likely to disagree.

More Key Findings:

  • Those in Quebec are the most likely (30%) to call China as good a trade partner as any other country. Meanwhile, British Columbians are the most likely (68%) to prefer Canada trade with China less.
  • A majority (54%) of those who say we should prioritize human rights when dealing with China worry over the costs to Canada’s economy if Canada were to get in China’s way.
  • Conservative voters are the most likely of any party’s supporters to say Canada should prioritize trade over human rights in its dealings with China (28%), but also the most likely to wish Canada would trade with China less (69%).
  • One-in-five (21%) of those who worry of the economic consequences of standing up to China say it’s impossible to cut trade ties with the country without a significant cost to Canada’s economy.

Link to the poll here:

About Mel Rothenburger (9481 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on NATIONAL PULSE – Three in five want less trade between Canada and China

  1. We should discontinue all trade and diplomatic relations with the present Chinese government,There are plenty of other Asian countries that manufacture shirts,pants and shoes.Taiwan makes much better quality tools.Much of what China exports is junk and most of it we don,t need. Japanese stuff is still the best. Chevys ain’t bad either.
    We have a problem in that the younger set know nothing of Hitler,Mussolini or Tojo.The yanks,god bless ’em put an end to those fellas,but are they ready for the Chinese? Chinese money and influence is infiltrating many countries around the world and has done a great job of making it all but impossible for Canadian young people to own a home. They are bullies and should be dealt with and dealing with their left hip pocket ( my side) would hurt them the most.

  2. And yet every Canadian household is chockfull of gadgets large and small including many of the clothes they wear made in China. Are Canadians really aware of what they are talking about?

  3. We cannot ignore Chin anymore than we could have ignored Nazi Germany, but we must find other trading partners. Dealing with a hostage taker reduces us to his level. Canada deserves better.

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