In very surprising news Sunday, the currently ongoing British Columbia trade mission to Asia — attended by the BC Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development as well as forestry company executives — was abruptly cancelled.
The trip is expected to be rescheduled.
The delegation led by BC Forestry Minister Doug Donaldson will no longer be stopping in China, and will instead end its trip after a visit to Japan this week.
“The Province of British Columbia has suspended the China leg of its Asian forestry trade mission due to the international judicial process underway relating to a senior official at Huawei Technologies.” — BC government press release
These regular trade missions have always been extremely successful; within a couple of years following each one, numerous Canadian and BC companies have signed supply agreements for their lumber with companies in China.
Stephen Nagy, a distinguished fellow with the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and fellow with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, said to Canadian Press Sunday both Canada and China are walking a tight rope in relations with one another.
Canada could be concerned about retaliatory action that could range from the arrests of Canadians in China to the stonewalling of trade negotiations with British Columbia. — Stephen Nagy to Canadian Press
The trade mission lead by BC Forest Minister Doug Donaldson this year includes approximately 40 company executives, civil servants, and Indigenous leaders on a 10-day sales trip to Korea, Japan, and China. British Columbia is in the fourth year of a slide in lumber sales to China.
The China part of that trip is now postponed.