A push to launch free trade negotiations between China and Canada fell flat Monday, with the nations abruptly scrapping a planned press conference and agreeing instead to extend exploratory talks, Bloomberg reports. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signaled one sticking point was Canada’s preference for sprawling “progressive” pacts, and that the countries only wanted to launch formal talks if they were more confident a deal could be reached.
Trudeau and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang canceled their joint media availability in Beijing, with each leader instead making a brief statement pledging cooperation on climate change and clean growth. The two countries had been expected to cement their desire for a free trade agreement, though officials had said right up until the last minute no decision had been made. Both leaders downplayed any tensions from the event, held on the first full day of Trudeau’s visit.