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Canada blocked 43 Chinese export attempts in 2020, government report shows

Canada turned down 43 attempts from local businesses in 2020 to sell military and dual-use goods and technologies to China, according to a newly published government report.

The 2020 Report on Exports of Military Goods from Canada shows that 28 of these blocked permit requests related to sales to mainland China, with the remainder related to its Hong Kong territory.

In providing a rationale for the export denials, the report, which was published by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) – the government department that oversees the country's foreign relations and trade – states that the decision was “consistent with Canada's foreign policy and defence interests”.

Details about the blocked permits were not made available. However, according to the report, the majority of attempts related to sales within the Canadian export control category of 1–6, which covers dual-use sensors and lasers. Some permits were also related to dual-use special materials, and aerospace and propulsion technologies.

In total, the Chinese export denials accounted for 74% of all blocked sales attempts from Canadian exporters, the report says. It adds that the total number of export denials, 58, represented a “significant increase” in the number of permits denied compared with previous years.

“Since 2016, when the report began to include information on permit applications denied, there have been less than 10 denials per year,” the report states.

For the 2020 calendar year, the total value of Canadian exports of controlled military goods and technology amounted to CAD1.966 billion (USD1.63 billion). According to the report, this amounts to a 48% decline against the value of CAD3.757 billion in 2019.

The report said the decrease is mainly attributable to the lower value of military exports to Saudi Arabia in 2020, which diminished by CAD1.553 billion compared with 2019.

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