From the 1980s to the early 2000s, Canadian taxpayers footed the bill for obscure, mostly interest-free loans to China, Blacklocks reported.
A total of 168 loans were provided to China for ‘national interest’ reasons, 147 of which were interest-free for at least 40 to 50 years.
The loans totaled $364,714,786 and were approved by successive cabinets over the years, an Inquiry of Ministry tabled in the Commons showed.
“Loans were provided in the past to help ensure Canadian exporters could compete on equal footing with foreign competitors that may offer better financing”, the inquiry read.
The loans issued through the Canada Account fund, such as the China loans, can “easily become grants”, an advocacy group wrote in 2020, adding that “any loss incurred is directly borne by Canadian taxpayers”.
Loans that fall under the “national interest” umbrella may do so for various reasons, including the creation of jobs. In this case, the loans were intended to support Canadian exports. The China loans were suspended in the early 2000s.
China’s GDP went from 191 billion in 1980 to nearly 15 trillion in 2021. The rapid growth of the Chinese economy decimated the U.S. and Canadian manufacturing sectors.
Today, China is known for its corporate espionage and theft of U.S. and Canadian technologies.
The loans’ final payments are due in 2045, making them long-term loans.