Canada downplays assertion U.S. trying to stop trade between Canada, Mexico, Bejing

Canadian officials and others are downplaying China's assertion that the US is trying to stop Canada and Mexico from doing trade with Beijing.

China claims a controversial new clause in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement that calls on the countries to notify each other if they enter into trade talks with a ``non-market'' economy is meant to foil China.

In a scathing statement, the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa says section 32.10 of the new USMCA amounts to an act of political dominance by the U-S.

The Trump administration is embroiled in a trade war with China.

But a spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland repeated the government's view that nothing in the new trade agreement would prevent Canada from deepening its trade ties with other countries.

Jim Carr, the international trade diversification minister, also played down concerns about China's comments.

Derek Burney, a veteran of Canada's continental trade wars, says he's not convinced the controversial clause has any teeth to prevent Canada from moving forward economically with China.