Monday, March 22, 2010

Canada-EU Trade Agreement update

Why does it fall to a former Irish MP and Member of the European Parliament to raise questions about the detrimental effect to Canadians of the proposed Canada-EU trade agreement? Isn't that the job of the Canadian government and the Canadian media? *rhetorical lol*

Under the guise of harmonizing regulations between provinces, TILMA enjoyed limited success in the west in jettisoning the provinces' and municipalities' right to "Buy Local" in favour of investor rights for international corps. That was a big sticking point for the EU going ahead with a Canada-EU trade deal - if European companies weren't allowed to bid as equals on Canadian government contracts for both goods and services and if the provinces refused to end the favouring of local or national providers of public-sector services, well then the EU wasn't very interested in pursuing a deal.

Luckily - for Harper and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the 100 transatlantic CEOs - the big "Buy American" scare showed up. In exchange for a one day opportunity window into the 4 or 5 billion dollars left in Obama's Buy American stimulous package - jobs! jobs! jobs! - Harper convinced the provinces to give up their local procurement rights.

Between the two deals - the throw-away Buy American 'exemption' and the proposed Canada-EU deal - we're caught in a pincer move to further corporatize public services.

Good thing there's one lone Irishman at the European parliament asking a few questions on our behalf then, eh?



McJ said...

Great catch Allison! This Irish MP is asking the right questions. I would like to have heard the response.
I be passing this one on. :)

Alison said...

Hi McJ. Higgins was directing his remarks to the Canadian ambassador and the EU Trade Commissioner, Karel de Gucht, but I can't find a record of a response at the EU International Trade meeting.

skdadl said...

You've read this before, Alison, but I thought I'd repeat m'self:

It's an interesting situation. Higgins is obviously a good unionist and in touch with savvy people here. So it's almost a parallel to a Canadian progressive speaking with concern on behalf of oppressed workers in, eg, Honduras or Colombia and against our government's deals with those governments and on behalf of exploitative Canadian mining corpses. We are Honduras -- think about it.

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