As China and India reach globally for resources to feed their hungry economies, Asia Unhedged sees a “green” factor that may increasingly affect trade relations in years to come.
Case in point: Canada’s uranium exports to India.
Canada’s Green Party just denounced a deal in which Canada will export 3,000 tons of uranium to India over the next five years.
“Canada’s trade in nuclear materials with India is a direct violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, yet we resumed trading equipment and fissionable materials with India in 2013,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada, in a written statement. “India has indicated a willingness to pursue a comprehensive plan for a nuclear-free world, and has voluntarily adopted a ‘no first use’ policy. I call on Stephen Harper to stop encouraging defiance of the NNPT.”
Daniel Green, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada, added, “When India exploded its nuclear device in 1974 using Canadian technology, Canada ceased all exports of nuclear material to India, and India continued to develop a nuclear weapons program. India is not a signatory to the International Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It would be unacceptable for Canada to renege on its commitments to this treaty, which is indispensable to our global security.”
It’s doubtful if Canada’s Greens will be able to halt uranium exports to India on such grounds. Environmental or nuke proliferation issues involving Asian firms or governments also are not new. But as players like China tap the rich mineral resources of Africa and Southeast Asia or eye the frackable shale oil reserves of North America, local environmental and other opposition will inevitably mount. If such operations run into an Asian version of April 2010’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, bilateral relations and share prices will be in for rude shocks.