The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement: Implications for Canada

New CAPI report

March 15, 2019 |


The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), signed in 2015, is the first FTA between China and a major western economy. It is a significant achievement that expands market access for Australian companies and has the potential to enhance Australia’s competitive edge in China. But it also has its shortcomings. 

In this new report, CAPI Senior Research Fellow and former Canadian Ambassador Phil Calvert lays out the issues and implications as Canada considers its own trade agreement options with China. He cautions that free trade with China should be approached carefully and that alternatives to a standard, comprehensive agreement should be considered, especially given the significant gaps in the rule of law in China that China has demonstrated in its response to the Huawei case.

read the report


CAPI Senior Research Fellow Phil Calvert served from 2012-2016 as Canada's ambassador to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. He previously served as Deputy Head of Mission in the Canadian Embassy in Beijing (2004-2008). From 2008-2012, as Director General in Ottawa, he managed Canada’s overall trade and political relations with North Asia (China, Japan, Korean peninsula, Hong Kong, Mongolia and Taiwan). He holds a PhD in Chinese history.