Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole said on Wednesday that he would like to see more goods produced in Canada rather than “made in China.”
O’Toole made the comment while fielding questions from reporters during a campaign stop in Ottawa.
“I want to see less ‘made in China’ to be honest with you and more ‘made in Canada’ and I have no hesitation saying that because I’ve been saying it for several years. We can’t sit by and watch a country like China gain from global trade while they don’t follow the rules,” O’Toole said.
“So we need to start working alongside our allies like the Americans, the Australians and others who have actually been much more serious with respect to China for many years. Mr. Trudeau has been out of step on this issue. I think we have an incredible ability to improve those trade relations with our close allies and take a stronger, more principled approach with respect to China.”
According to the Conservative Party’s platform, O’Toole has several policies that deal with manufacturing and decreasing reliance on China and other nations abroad.
O’Toole has pledged to bring personal protective equipment (PPE) and pharmaceutical manufacturing back to the country while also increasing domestic vaccine production.
Additionally the Conservative platform pledges that they would only “pursue free trade agreements with free countries that respect workers’ rights and maintain high environmental standards.”
The Trudeau government has faced criticism in the past for its reliance on China, particularly when it comes to PPE imports during the early stages of the pandemic.
According to estimates, the Liberal government’s mishandling of Canada’s emergency stockpile cost taxpayers $500 million. Due to their inaction, Canada was importing PPE at prices approximately 380% higher than before the pandemic began.
Conservatives have also called on the federal government to cut ties and imports with any Chinese company that is suspected of using Uyghurs and other minorities for forced labour to manufacture goods.