The implications for Canada of a fast-tracked Trans-Pacific Partnership
www.nationalobserver.com, Stuart Trew & Scott Sinclair | 4 June 2015
. . . only five of the TPP’s 30-plus chapters directly relating to trade . . .
. . . 80 per cent of Canada’s top exports to these countries are raw or semi-processed goods (e.g., beef, coal, lumber), while 85 per cent of imports are of higher value-added goods (e.g., autos, machinery, computer and electrical components).
We can therefore expect tariff removal through the TPP to worsen the erosion of the Canadian manufacturing sector and its well-paying jobs that has been underway since NAFTA. . . .
. . . serious concerns it raises about excessive intellectual property rights, regulatory harmonization, and the perpetuation of a discredited investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) regime. . . .
The TPP’s intellectual property rights chapter, for example, could be a minefield for efforts to control drug costs. To cement a pending free trade deal with the European Union (CETA), Canada has already agreed to patent term extensions that will add at least $800-million annually to Canadian drug costs . . .
. . . Leaked text confirms the TPP includes an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism modelled on NAFTA chapter 11. The process allows foreign investors to take their disputes with government decisions (policies, legislation, even the final rulings of the courts) to private arbitration. Canada is already the most-sued developed country in the world, absorbing more investor-state lawsuits under NAFTA’s ISDS process than even Mexico. We’ve lost seven cases and paid out damages of $190-million, as well as untold amounts in legal fees. There are eight active claims against Canada, with one of the most notorious involving a challenge to a ban on oil and gas fracking in the province of Quebec. . . .
. . . U.S. negotiators, as well those of Australia and New Zealand, have made it clear that they expect substantial access for all dairy products as well as for poultry, and reports from the recent TPP negotiations in Guam suggest Canada is willing to move in that direction. These inroads could spell the demise of the supply management system, destroying the livelihood of thousands of family farms, including in vote-rich Ontario and Quebec. . . .
. . . In a fairly recent, but poorly reported speech, Prime Minister Stephen Harper stressed that Canada could not “hold up the TPP on its own,” even if it is unhappy with the results, and that Canadians must prepare themselves for some “difficult choices.”
It is uncertain how the Canadian public would respond to such a poor bargain at the polls. To date, the government has been tight-lipped about any aspect of the TPP negotiations, and traditionally the public plays no role in the passage of free trade deals. . . .
Without taking an ideological position on each individual topic, let’s just consider objectively the overall destructive economic effect of being locked into these massive “trade” deals that tie the hands of the local and national governments. These are outside governments and forces pressuring our own governments to eventually sign and change their ways of doing things. And it’s all backed by propaganda that makes it seem necessary to most people. But we are not involved. Our opinions are not being listened to. We’re not the ones changing anything, regardless of our beliefs case by case. But why is it happening? Part of the reason is “regulatory harmonization,” which I interpret as world government. And I believe that part of the process involves harming the richer countries economically, reducing all nations to the same level in order to prevent us from standing up against globalism.
Government of Canada: Foreign Affairs, Trade & Development Canada: Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Negotiations
See Myths and Realities – I doubt at least half of the assertions on this page.