OTTAWA- As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives in China for a week-long visit, New Democrats are urging him to advocate for protecting human rights and take a firm stand on trade negotiations.

“This visit must be about more than photo-ops,” said Hélène Laverdière, NDP Foreign Affairs Critic. “We support a more engaged relationship with China, but that also means Canada cannot ignore serious human rights issues – including imprisonment of Canadian nationals and treatment of political dissidents.”

The NDP is also calling on Mr. Trudeau’s Liberals to roll up their sleeves and do the hard diplomatic work of resolving major trade disputes that are affecting Canadian workers and communities – in particular the dumping of cheap Chinese steel and the new restrictions on imports of Canadian canola seed.

“So far, the Liberal government has been silent when it comes to China dumping steel in Canadian markets,” said Tracey Ramsey, the NDP’s Trade Critic. “And while canola seed has seen a bumper crop this year, China is threatening to close its doors to Canada. With so many Canadian jobs on the line, the Prime Minister has a responsibility to achieve real results for Canadian families.”

“As the Liberals explore a new trade deal with China there are many outstanding issues – from foreign ownership rules to the use of Temporary Foreign Workers – that Canadians expect will be dealt with once the prime minister’s photo-ops are done,” concluded Ramsey.