Stated goal: enhanced environmental protections. REF

Very grave concerns:

  • investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS) allow corporations to sue any level of government that interferes with their perceived profit, such as protecting water which they want to bottle, phasing out fossil fuels to meet climate targets, regulating products that are harmful to health or the environment. This would happen even if the Supreme Court of Canad rules against them. For example, Ontario MicroFIT was sued by Japan for requiring some domestic content. A current lawsuit 700 million oil tycoon for Ontario favouring windmill energy power.
  • Innovation towards sustainability from the Paris talks can all be thwarted by ISDS, helping spiral our global ecosphere into increasing pollution, deforestation, ocean dead zones, overfishing and climate change. Under TPP governments will be sued if every time they try to protect environments when corporate profit will be lessened.
  • “The agreement is the product of six years of work by global capitalists from banks, insurance companies, Goldman Sachs, Monsanto and other corporations. “It was written by them, it is for them and it will serve them,” Zeese said of the TPP.”
  • REF Chris Hedges

Full Text of TPP Trade Deal Revealed — and Critics Say It’s Even Worse Than They Thought.

Your worst fears about the TPP are true

  1. Unlike NAFTA which has a 6 month notice get out clause, there is no end date, giving the impression that once signed, TPP is forever
  2. We are handing swaths of governmental oversight to un-elected corporations with a bad track record for care
  3. Katz, an associate law professor, warned that TPP locks Canada into a deal that cannot be modified even if issues surface with time.
  4. Fast-tracking a far-reaching international agreement like this is unethical, and could cost our very existence on this planet.
  5. Once a service is privatized (e.g. healthcare) no future government can undo this.
  6. Government funds cannot be used to increase local economic growth or safeguard investment in Canadian economies.
  7. The agreement, in essence, becomes global law. Any agreements over carbon emissions by countries made through the United Nations are effectively rendered null and void by the TPP. Chris Hedges
  1. It would be great to re-negotiate, to give powers to over-ride interstor-state dispute settlements for environmental and health reasons, but it appears that because Harper signed the TPP agreement, and that’s it – negotiations are over, before we even knew about them.

According to opponents of the TPP, Harper kept it quiet because he feared it would be controversial among Canadians since everything from the rules surrounding Internet downloads, to how our groceries are produced, to when we can copy textbooks legally, will be affected. Trade Minister Ed Fast kept secret the results of a public consultation on the TPP, saying only that the talks had “broad support.” but tech law expert Michael Geist said documents he obtained under the Access to Information Act showed “the government was overwhelmed with negative comments urging officials to resist entry into the TPP” particularly with respect to copyright law. REF

TPP leaks show Canada Post and CBC up for trade

State-owned enterprises in the TPP could be severely restricted and subject to rules that force them to give up their public service mandates in order to become purely profit-driven organizations. They would also be prohibited from buying services exclusively from local or national sources. More here

ISDS challenge all levels of government, picking up millions of dollars in payouts using taxpayer money, settled not in Canadian courts but in an international panel of arbitrators using lawyers representing corporations one day and sitting in judgment the next (i.e. wolf guarding the chicken coop). The process cannot be challenged by Canada.

The U.S. is seeking a tough, far-reaching agreement favouring U.S. commercial interests that China, Japan and other trading rivals will have little choice but to join. China, however, appears to view the TPP as little more than an American plot.

Canada already has free trade deals with four of the current TPP members (the U.S., Chile, Peru and Mexico). As economist Jim Stanford has noted, the other six (Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, and Vietnam) combined account for less than one per cent of Canada’s exports. The United Steelworkers points out that, “any conceivable increase in exports to these markets would be almost insignificant in terms of total Canadian output and employment.”

While claiming that it made no substantive concessions to get in, the Harper government almost certainly signalled its flexibility on key stumbling blocks such as agricultural supply management and intellectual property rights protection.  Ref

Sight unseen, the government of Canada has agreed to accept any negotiating text on which the nine current members have already reached consensus. According to the USTR, this includes all agreed (“unbracketed”) text within chapters that are still open, not just completed chapters. To date, only one chapter has been completed.

It is almost unbelievable that Canada accepted this condition. The 12 rounds of TPP negotiations have been wrapped in unusually tight secrecy, though draft versions of two chapters (investment and intellectual property) have been leaked.

Free hand for lobbyists

What’s more, the Canadian government apparently accepted a further condition that it will not reopen any text that is agreed upon during the period before it gains full negotiating status. Canada and Mexico will not be able to formally join the negotiations until after other TPP countries complete their domestic consultations on the new partners’ entry. The USTR will soon notify the U.S. Congress of Canada’s impending entry, which will trigger a 90-day consultation process. Ref