By Alan Mercer
Continuing from Part 9 on the topic of country of origin labeling:
Country-of-Origin Labels Repealed for Beef, Pork
Courthouse News Service | 22 December 2015
. . . The country-of-origin labeling rule, or COOL, was repealed under the federal spending bill passed by Congress on Friday. . . .
On Dec. 7, the World Trade Organization . . . said Mexico and Canada can charge more than $1 billion in tariffs on U.S. goods if COOL labels were not removed. . . . the WTO found that the labels discriminate against meats raised and slaughtered outside the United States.
WTO Ruling on Meat Labels Exemplifies Corporate Profits Trumping Democracy
John Queally, Common Dreams | 18 May 2015
. . according to expert critics like Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, what Monday’s ruling really shows is how international trade deals like NAFTA can trump the will of the American public and Congress. . . .
. . . Public Citizen cited a speech earlier this month when President Obama championed the pending deals [TTP and TTIP with EU] and dismissed their detractors when he said, “Critics warn that parts of this deal would undermine American regulation – food safety, worker safety, even financial regulations. They’re making this stuff up. This is just not true. No trade agreement is going to force us to change our laws.” . . .
. . . In her comments, Hauter [Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch] argued the same. “The COOL case proves that trade agreements can and do trump U.S. laws,” she said. “This is a chilling reminder that our very democracy is at stake in these trade deals. . . . ”
The Center for Food Safety is quoted also:
. . . TPP’s investor-state provision would go even a step further by allowing corporations to directly sue countries for policies they believe impede profits. . . .
So trade experts are arguing the same point, that this NAFTA-related ruling is a clear illustration of what the new trade deals will also do to each nation’s independence and democracy — nullify laws.
And that is probably the biggest issue with any of these trade deals such as the TPP. Corporations (including Canadian corporations) do use foreign WTO tribunals that overrule democratic representatives in different countries–and that can include Canada being targeted by foreign corporations. These specific rulings may (or may not) benefit Canadians, but the principle is the same when these rulings are ever directed against Canadian governments.
Also, it seems to me that the points about labeling that I see in the TPP may go even further in interfering with the labeling of foreign products coming into Canada, including some points about intellectual property (trademarking country names). This is just like how the Intellectual Property provisions in the TPP in general are likely to interfere with Canadian copyright laws.
So we’re talking about everything being up for grabs–sovereignty, democracy, independence, localism, regulations, “protectionism”, “Canada First”, “America First”, “Buy Canada”, wage levels, employment, freedom of speech– a mix of politically correct and incorrect concepts.
What’s wrong with wanting to buy local, domestic products? Why can’t we discriminate?
Because our governments keep selling us out to those entities who are actively, day and night, week after week, year after year, constructing a global government–built on propaganda and many other weaponized methods of causing the disintegration in our ability to stand up for ourselves.
It’s just the long-term conquest of the “nation state” or whatever other grouping wants to do their own thing.
Why not tell your member of parliament to defeat the TPP?