Canada’s dispute with China over the detention of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou needs to be resolved as part of a U.S. trade pact with China, according to former ambassador to the U.S. David MacNaughton.

“As the Americans are working with the Chinese on trying to improve their trading relationship, we have reminded them frequently that this issue has to be solved as part of any kind of agreement that happens between China and the United States,” he told BNN Bloomberg Wednesday.

MacNaughton added “it’s not fair” for Canada to be paying the entire price for detaining Meng at the Americans’ behest, noting the impact on Canada’s economy and China’s detention of two Canadians citizens.  

“It’s a really difficult situation and I think we should never forget that apart from the difficulties that it’s caused in our trading relationship that we also have two of our citizens who are incarcerated in China,” MacNaughton said. “And we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to get them released.”



Tensions between Canada and China intensified after Meng’s arrest last December in Vancouver on an extradition request from the United States — a move that led to the ban of imports of some Canadian agricultural products into China.

The Chinese government removed the months-long ban on Canadian pork and beef earlier this month in the wake of an outbreak of African swine fever, which significantly impacted its domestic pork supply.

MacNaughton, who was integral in re-negoating the North American Free Trade Agreement, resigned from his position as ambassador in August.