October 1, 2012 / 3:00 PM / 5 years ago

Canada says unclear whether it will pursue China trade talks

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s trade minister said on Monday it is too early to say whether the government would pursue a free trade agreement with China, which is trying to buy Canadian oil producer Nexen NXY.TO through state-owned CNOOC (0883.HK) in a $15.1 billion deal.

“At this point in time it would be premature to speculate on whether Canada will move forward with any type of trade negotiation with China,” Trade Minister Ed Fast told reporters in a news conference.

“The only thing I can say is we are committed to deepening our trade and investment relationship with China going forward,” he said.

Foreign Minister John Baird said last week that Canada should focus on finishing up trade deals that are already underway, leading some to suspect trade talks with China had been taken off the table.

Reporting by Louise Egan; Editing by Peter Galloway

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