Friday, April 01, 2016

Selling the doubleplusgood TPP to Canadians

When she signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal above a NZ casino two months ago, International Trade Minister Chrystia Freetrade was at pains to reassure us that signing it was not the same as ratifying it, and besides there would be conversations with Canadians about it first. 
"Signing does not equal ratifying. Signing is simply a technical step in the process, allowing the TPP text to be tabled in Parliament for consideration and debate before any final decision is made."
Yesterday in Washington DC, PM Justin Trudeau called for "an increasingly integrated North America" and extolled "the investment opportunities for U.S. business on the billions of dollars of infrastructure projects announced in the Liberal budget."
Here's what he said about the TPP :
“In our conversations with Canadians, with industries which are ongoing, there are a lot of people in favour of it and there are a few who have real concerns and we’re looking at understanding and allaying certain fears ...”   
This March 10 presser from the International Trade Committee explains what JT means by "allaying certain fears" :

Second line : "The committee's primary objective is to assess the extent to which the agreement would be in the best interests of Canadians."

So will there be a whole other trade committee to assess the extent to which the TPP is not in the best interests of Canadians?

Because here's what JT's "few who have real concerns" about the global corporate rights pact are concerned about :

TPP opens floodgates to unregulated temporary foreign workers

"The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could see hundreds of thousands of additional temporary foreign workers (TFWs) entering Canada without any consideration of their impact on the local labour market leading to worsening unemployment among Canadian workers, labour groups warn.
The Canadian Workers Advocacy Group(CWAG) points out that 230,000 TFWs enter Canada annually under the labour mobility provisions of existing agreements, and the magnitude of the latest trade deal means that the numbers will increase significantly.
This is on top of the 165,000 TFWs who enter the country on average per year with a positive Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA).
CWAG also expressed concern that unlike other trade deals, the TPP includes developing countries such as Vietnam and Peru, and corporations will use the intra-company transfer provisions of the trade agreement to bring in low-wage workers and displace Canadians.
The minimum wage is 65 cents per hour in Vietnam and $1.27 per hour in Peru."

Former US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich : The New Truth About Free Trade
"I used to believe in trade agreements ...."
Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz : "TPP worst trade deal ever" 
"I think what Canada should do is use its influence to begin a renegotiation of TPP to make it an agreement that advances the interests of Canadian citizens and not just the large corporations."
The Star : Joseph Stiglitz told Freeland that Canada should reject the TPP 
Economist Joseph Stiglitz says he has told his “friend,” International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland, that Canada should reject the Trans-Pacific Partnershipbecause it’s a badly flawed trade deal.

The controversial but not-yet-ratified trade agreement could tie the hands of the Trudeau Liberals on two key parts of its agenda — fighting climate change and repairing relations with aboriginal people, the Nobel-winning professor warned Friday.

Stiglitz said he relayed some of his concerns to Freeland personally in January, when the two were attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland."


West End Bob said...

No doubt any "conversations" were those with JT's bromance buddy barry during the state visit last month in DC. It's highly doubtful JT will do anything to cause friction with his buddy next door, unfortunately.

Ms. Freeland used to be rather impressive until her ego became inflated with her numerous appearances on the USIan talking head shows. If she does anything other than ratify and support this agreement it will be totally out of character for her these days . . . .

Hugh said...

What does it mean when the 3 leading presidential candidates are all opposed to the TPP?

Anonymous said...

I recall the invitation for Canadians to convey their feelings on TPP as it happened about a week prior to her signing the TPP. Not a very thorough dissection of the issues with this agreement.

West End Bob said...

Joseph Stiglitz weighs in on his good "friend" Ms. Freeland:

Alison said...

Thanks, Bob, added your link. Obama people helped elect Trudeau.

Anon@5:21pm : TPP consultations: Now you see them, now you don't They are happening now - if you can't find them.

Hugh : Orchestral maneuvering in the dark. Clinton trying to bleed votes off Bernie by getting near the left of him on something/anything, Trump going for nativism dog-whistling, Bernie ... Bernie like Stiglitz probably does know it's crap.

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