In the newly-created House of Commons Committee on Canada-China Relations, assistant deputy foreign minister Steve Verheul told MPs that the trade deficit increased as China purchased less natural resources from Canada.

“From January to November 2019 our exports to China fell by some 14.7% compared to 2018 driven by a drop in canola seed, wood pulp and nickel shipments,” he said.

“I should point out part of this is clearly due to the economic slowdown in China, as well as the deteriorating relationship.” 

While the Chinese economy has slowed down, China actively tried to stop Canadian exports throughout 2019.