Sky-high Chinese tariffs block Canadian access to market

Canada’s trade deficit with China is widening amid a slowing of raw materials exports to China, while Canadians continue to import $50 billion a year of Chinese products.

According to Industry Canada, the 2012 trade deficit with China was $31.7 billion in 2012, four times the deficit a decade ago.

And while China exports manufactured goods, like electrical machinery, furniture and footwear, to Canada, it imports mainly raw materials. Currently the top Canadian exports to China by value are wood pulp, oil seeds and grains, ores, mineral fuels and oil.

The Chinese market for Canadian-made manufactured goods is being blocked by a high tariff wall, which makes the cost of these products prohibitive for Chinese consumers…

Chinese products face no such tariffs as when they are imported to Canada, despite undercutting many Canadian-made goods.

China’s tariffs have been a key irritant in trade with the EU and North America but are allowed through China’s deal with the World Trade Organization.

For Canadian manufacturers, they can mean a bewildering welter of red tape that blocks access to the market.

One of the hopes out for the TransPacific Partnership, a trade deal currently under negotiation, is that the trading block would be powerful enough to force China to reduce its tariffs.