Scheer calls for more inspections on Chinese imports, possible tariffs

Canada China

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to step up inspections on all products from China and to consider slapping tariffs on imports from the Asian country.

In a letter Friday, Scheer pressed Trudeau to take a harder line with Canada's second-biggest trading partner at a time when the countries are locked in a diplomatic dispute that has dragged on for more than seven months.

China detained two Canadians in December just days after Canada arrested Chinese high-tech executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on a U.S. extradition warrant.

Angered by Meng's arrest, China has increased inspections that have led to the suspension or obstruction of key Canadian agricultural imports, including pork and canola.

Last week, China announced an additional suspension of all imports of Canadian meat products because of claimed concerns over fraudulent inspection reports.

Scheer wants Trudeau to respond by intensifying Canadian inspections on all imports from China and to start exploring possible retaliatory levies on Chinese products that will have the greatest possible impact while minimizing harm to consumers in Canada.