$364 million in zero- or low-rate loans to China since 1980

Documents tabled in the House of Commons reveal that the federal government has provided 168 mostly interest-free export loans to China since the 1980s, with final payments not due until 2045.

According to Blacklock’s Reporter, a Ministry investigation requested by Conservative MP Kelly McCauley and tabled in the House of Commons revealed the nature of the loans.

The investigation found that of a total of 168 loans issued to China to purchase Canadian goods, 147 were interest-free for 40 or 50 years. The other 21 had interest rates of 1% to 9%.

“Loans have been provided in the past to help ensure that Canadian exporters could compete on a level playing field with foreign competitors who may offer better financing,” the federal government said.

The loans totaled $364,714,786, with final payments not due until February 15, 2045. The money was distributed through the “Canada Account” under the Export Development Act.

Loans to China under the law were the largest relative to loans to other countries. The federal government also gave $96.2 million to Iraq, $86.4 million to Turkey, $67.5 million to Morocco, $42.6 million to India, $36 million to dollars to Argentina, $18 million to Pakistan, $7.1 million to Gabon, $6.4 million to Egypt, $5.4 million to Sudan. , $4.8 million to Jamaica and $2.8 million to Venezuela.

Ultimately, the control of who gets the loans rests with the minister responsible at the time.

“The Canada Account is essentially a fund that the staff advises against, but the minister can override and make an investment for reasons best known to the minister,” Liberal MP John McKay told a committee meeting. finances of the Communes in 2010.

According to the organization Environmental Defence, loans issued from Canada’s account may never be repaid if the country that received the money refuses to repay it.

“Loans made through the Canada Account can easily become grants,” the group wrote in a report. “Any loss incurred is borne directly by Canadian taxpayers.”

The liberals have continued to provide the loans to China’s communist government despite a vote in 2021 condemning authoritarian human rights abuses involving forced internment, forced labor and genocide against the country’s Uyghur minority.

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