Trade the TPP: Imagining a fair trade future
"Worst trade deal ever"
Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, speaking just a few blocks from Parliament Hill in Ottawa, called the Trans-Pacific Partnership "the worst trade deal ever." That's quite a statement, since there have been some pretty bad trade deals negotiated, including with Korea and the European Union.
The TPP is a proposed new “free trade” agreement involving 12 member nations: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States of America and Vietnam. Canada was late to the game, joining the TPP negotiations near their completion, which meant negotiating from a position of weakness with limited ability to shape the main features of the deal.
The TPP is not so much a trade deal as a corporate rights deal that limits the ability of democratically elected governments to regulate industry or pass laws that might infringe the profits of foreign companies - even if those laws are in the best interest of their citizens.
This campaign is important because the more Canadians learn about the TPP, the less they like it - and for good reason.
Unifor played a central role in raising concerns about the TPP during the 2015 federal election, and helped define the debate about the deal. Since then, our efforts and analysis of the deal have expanded, and we continue to have significant concerns about the TPP.
Unifor has been active as the federal committee looking into the TPP crisscrosses the country by holding rallies, testifying before the committee and giving voice to those who could not get a chance to testify. To see Unifor Local 444 President Dino Chiodo’s presentation to the TPP hearings in Windsor, click here.
A position paper adopted by Unifor's Canadian Council in 2014 outlines what a truly fair trade deal looks like, including 12 core principles for assessing any trade deal. A summary of those principles can be found here.
Unifor has prepared sector-by-sector reports on how the TPP will affect many parts of the Canadian economy. Keep watching this space for more reports.
Unifor is part of a wider movement of groups also concerned about the TPP. Check them out:
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
“What’s the Big Deal: Understanding the TPP” website
The Council of Canadians campaign page
The OpenMedia campaign page
Sign the federal NDP online petition
MORE INFORMATION ON THE TPP
See the full text of the TPP.
Unifor's submission to the Trade Committee on the TPP
Canadian government summary of the TPP
Minister Freeland’s open letter to Canadians on the TPP
Website for the Standing Committee on International Trade