Canada’s dispute with China over the
arrest of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, has
escalated in recent weeks.
Beijing has upped the pressure by blocking imports of canola and suspending the permits of two major pork suppliers.
Canadian trade delegation’s attempts
to visit Beijing in order to negate a major threat to commodity exports were
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s
administration has been left with little room to maneuver so they turned to
Washington for help in settling the ongoing dispute with China.
Canada says the United States is
obligated to help, given that the U.S. arrest warrant on Meng’s arrest
triggered the crisis with Beijing.
However, the lukewarm response from
Washington frustrated Ottawa leading them to warn Washington that “it could
withhold cooperation on major issues.”
Canada’s U.S. ambassador David
MacNaughton, strongly suggested future requests for assistance would be
declined unless Washington cooperated more.
“How do you go to canola farmers
and relatives of the two (Canadian detainees) and say ‘Well, actually,
notwithstanding all of this, we’re going to try and do whatever we can to
help?'” he said.
“It makes it much more difficult
in public opinion terms for the prime minister to have permission to do some of
the things that would be in both countries’ interests,” he added.
MacNaughton said part of Canada’s
frustration also stems from the lack of clarity on U.S. intentions toward Meng,
who’s currently under arrest in her Vancouver house.
She is scheduled to appear in court
on May 8, prior to the extradition hearing which could go on for years. Trump
has previously suggested the charges against her could be dropped if that would
help the trade talks.
MacNaughton asked the U.S to clarify
its official position:
we’ve said is, we’d like to have a little better sense of what your plans are
in terms of dealing with her. Are you engaged in negotiations over a plea deal?
We’re completely in the dark.”