Elizabeth Warren: Why we need to stop the TPP

Trading Up: Richard Trumka | Trade | AFL-CIO Video

Stephen Harper told a news conference after the deal was announced, “This deal is, without any doubt whatsoever, in the best interests of the Canadian economy.” REF He sites grand things like TPP countries have a combined GDP of nearly $30 trillion, we’ll have access to Japan… the TPP will protect and create Canadian jobs …REF

On the campaign trail … Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, whose party has formed government the past three elections, said that Ottawa would “only sign a deal if we believe it’s in the best interests of all of our Canadian economy, including our auto industry.” Ref

 

Agriculture minister Lawrence MacAulay, 69, a former potato and dairy farmer in cabinet said he is likely to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiated by the previous government…” “‘I suspect when I evaluate the whole thing, it will be something I support’. MacAulay also opposes Country of Origin Labeling. Note that he is commenting before he’s even read it!

Bernie Sanders says other trade agreements have erased good jobs and led a race to the bottom where workers are forced to compete with low wages of pennies an hour. We’re always told how many jobs these agreements will make, and it always turns out they are wrong. NAFTA promised jobs, but we lost them. We were promised that we’d be opening Chinese economy to American goods and services, whereas, as everyone knows, the opposite happened and our shops are now full of Chinese goods, which has cost us 2.7 million jobs. See the video

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said the Tories “double-crossed the supply managed sectors of Canada’s agricultural sector, as well as the auto sector” REF “The Green Party has serious concerns with the fundamentally undemocratic and non-transparent nature of the negotiations surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” said May.

 

Tom Mulcair said, “If elected, Canada will not be party of an agreement that removes 200,000 Canadians jobs — period,” he told the crowd of supporters.’Secret deal’ fails Canada, Mulcair says. Harper has sold out Canada in a “secret deal” that sacrifices farming families and betrays the auto sector. Canadians should not have to suffer the consequences of Harper’s inability to negotiate a good deal that promotes the interests of all Canadians.

 

Ralph Nader: “The TPP is the most brazen corporate power grab in American history,”  “It allows corporations to bypass our three branches of government to impose enforceable sanctions by secret tribunals. These tribunals can declare our labor, consumer and environmental protections [to be] unlawful, non-tariff barriers subject to fines for noncompliance. The TPP establishes a transnational, autocratic system of enforceable governance in defiance of our domestic laws.” REF

Elizabeth May says:

I am strongly opposed to the TPP, and I echo calls to reject the agreement. The TPP is a fundamentally undemocratic agreement that threatens Canada’s sovereignty. The Harper Conservatives negotiated the TPP in secret, and Canadians were kept in the dark. The agreement hurts the Canadian auto and agricultural sector, and was drafted without input from labour, environmental, health, and consumer groups. The TPP would allow milk that includes hormones (rBST) into Canada, even though rBST use in Canada is prohibited. You can read my press release on the issue here.

The greatest problem with the TPP, however, is the investor-state provisions that expose Canada to lawsuits by foreign corporations. When we make new laws protecting the environment, or improving labour protections, for example, companies can sue Canada if they feel these decisions will hurt their bottom line. Investor-state provisions put multinational corporations ahead of Canadian interests. Simply put, the investor-state provisions in the TPP threaten Canada’s sovereignty.

This deal has serious implications for Canadian democracy, and our ability to protect our national industries and workers. At the very least, the TPP must be subject to thorough analysis and public consultation. I support calls for the TPP to be analyzed by the Parliamentary Budget Officer, for public hearings across the country, and for the obligation to obtain the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous communities. It is imperative that any agreement reached at COP21 be fully protected from potential TPP challenges.

We cannot let the TPP move forward unless Canadians have signed on. Prime Minister Trudeau has promised “a full and open public debate in Parliament” on the TPP. Canadians deserve nothing less, and I will hold the government to their promise. I will continue to fight to ensure that Canadian trade deals protect Canadian interests.

Politzer prize winning journalist Chris Hedges says, “Citizens will be forced to give up control of their destiny and will be stripped of the ability to protect themselves from corporate predators, safeguard the ecosystem and find redress and justice in our now anemic and often dysfunctional democratic institutions. The agreements—filled with jargon, convoluted technical, trade and financial terms, legalese, fine print and obtuse phrasing—can be summed up in two words: corporate enslavement.

If there is no sustained popular uprising to prevent the passage of the TPP in Congress this spring we will be shackled by corporate power. Wages will decline. Working conditions will deteriorate. Unemployment will rise. Our few remaining rights will be revoked. The assault on the ecosystem will be accelerated. Banks and global speculation will be beyond oversight or control. Food safety standards and regulations will be jettisoned. Public services ranging from Medicare and Medicaid to the post office and public education will be abolished or dramatically slashed and taken over by for-profit corporations. Prices for basic commodities, including pharmaceuticals, will skyrocket. Social assistance programs will be drastically scaled back or terminated. And countries that have public health care systems, such as Canada and Australia, that are in the agreement will probably see their public health systems collapse under corporate assault. Corporations will be empowered to hold a wide variety of patents, including over plants and animals, turning basic necessities and the natural world into marketable products. And, just to make sure corporations extract every pound of flesh, any public law interpreted by corporations as impeding projected profit, even a law designed to protect the environment or consumers, will be subject to challenge in an entity called the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) section. The ISDS, bolstered and expanded under the TPP, will see corporations paid massive sums in compensation from offending governments for impeding their “right” to further swell their bank accounts. Corporate profit effectively will replace the common good. Full article