Canada is losing ground and lagging behind U.S. in trade with Africa, senator says

On December 15, Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, testified before the Ottawa Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

The senator has warned Trade Minister Mary Ng that Ottawa could fall behind other countries in forging deeper trade ties with Africa.

The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee has been studying for months whether Global Affairs Canada is responding to the country’s diplomatic needs.

Ng answered questions from senators ranging from how Canada will forge deeper ties in the Indo-Pacific region to whether diplomats are doing enough to leverage the knowledge of Canadians living abroad.

They also expressed concern to Ng that the US was doing more to start trade talks with the African bloc that spans much of the continent.

On Wednesday, the ethics commissioner found that Ng violated the Conflict of Interest Act by not recusing her office from awarding her a friend’s company a contract.

Senators did not question Wu about the ruling, sticking to the topic of foreign affairs.

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