Tuesday, August 11, 2015

It's time to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership, aka the dirtiest trade deal you've never heard of...

Recently, it was revealed that the as-yet-unapproved Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, currently being negotiated in complete secret, could force the CBC, Canada Post and other Crown corporations in Canada (and other public bodies in other participating countries) to operate solely for profit under the deal’s terms.

The information was obtained and released by Wikileaks and states that a “majority of TPP countries” have agreed that state-owned enterprises (SOEs) will have to “act on the basis of commercial considerations.”

The document — a briefing for ministers ahead of a December, 2013 TPP meeting which makes clear that final decisions on these issues hadn’t been made at that time — also indicates that state-owned companies may be subject to all the rules of the TPP.  If that were to be the case, governments would not be able to fund Crown corporations with taxpayers’ money if that funding has “adverse effects” on another TPP country, says Jane Kelsey, a professor of law at the University of Auckland, in an analysis of the document she prepared for Wikileaks.

“It looks like SOEs are not allowed to get government support or non-commercial assistance. … That kind of support is often essential for SOEs that provide public functions that are not profitable or are even loss-making.”

This is but one scary possibility this possible agreement might thrust on unsuspecting populations whose governments are negotiating away their best interests, including Stephen Harper's government.  

Have a look at this video below at some of the very real threats we face if the TPP is approved.  The video was produced in Australia, but the issues raised in it are relevant to all countries that could be effected by the new deal.  

There has been little discussion around the TPP in Canada except about its potential impact on supply management.  In truth, Canada stands to lose much more than simply its dairy industry. 

As a progressive, I now think that enough is enough: it's time to stop the TPP from happening.  The best thing we can hope for is to elect a new government in October that won't sell out Canadians to the global corporate agenda like Stephen Harper secretly plans to do.

I'm starting to strongly suspect that means we must vote in the NDP, which at least has a strong history opposing these kinds of sell-out trade deals which only make the select few rich even richer while the vast majority of Canadians lose out.   While we appear stuck with previously negotiated trade deals, it seems like the TPP is one we can't afford to sign.   

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