News item: Canada starts a trade war with Brazil by banning imports of Brazilian beef due to a suspicion of a theoretical risk of mad cow disease. There are no confirmed cases of BSE in Brazil. Outraged Brazilians and even some Health Canada scientists have denounced the ban as imaginary.
News item: Bombardier Corporation, a Montreal company with very solid links to the Liberal Party, and Brazil’s Embraer are locked in a multibillion dollar race for airplane orders.
News item: Chrétien gently deflects comments about serious human rights abuses in China after a damning report from Amnesty International. He and several provincial premiers and captains of industry are in China on a Team Canada trade mission to accelerate the flow of goods and capital with that country.
In the House of Commons, outgoing NDP international trade critic Bill Blaikie cogently speculates on what China would have to do to Bombardier to get Chrétien to take any action on human rights abuses.