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Barlow, Yussuff & Silas challenge the Trans-Pacific Partnership at public forum in Winnipeg

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow challenged the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) at a public forum in Winnipeg last night.

She spoke against the deal alongside Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff and Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions president Linda Silas.

Winnipeg-based Council of Canadians organizer Brigette DePape was at the forum and tweeted:

  • The crowd is galvanized at a great no TPP event in Winnipeg.

  • Maude Barlow at No #TPP event: We have a moment. Time 4 progressives 2 debate renegotiation of NAFTA – pages of organized greed.

  • Maude Barlow at No TPP event: TPP = corporate capture of our society. Noose around neck of gov when tries 2 protect natural resources.

  • Hassan Yussuff: If TPP passed, cannot meet climate change commitments made in Paris. Need workers rights and respect 4 enviro commitments.

  • Hassan Yussuff at No TPP event: Expected 20 000 jobs lost in auto industry.

  • Hassan Yussuff at No TPP event w/ @CLC: Little economic gain but losses for farmers, auto industry, workers, higher pharmaceutical costs.

  • Linda Silas, CDN Federation of Nurses Unions at No TPP event: Trade deals are like super bugs, will infringe on our health care system.

In addition, the Canadian Labour Congress tweeted:

  • .@hassan_yussuff says the #TPP would have a negative impact on thousands of Canadian workers.

  • “@hassan_yussuff working with his European counterparts is the reason #CETA will not get ratified if it contains ISDS” @MaudeBarlow

  • “We must ensure that the damage of previous trade agreements does not repeat itself with this gov’t.” @hassan_yussuff

  • “Canada pays the highest prices for prescription drugs in the world. The #TPP will make it worse” @CFNUPresident

Yesterday afternoon, CBC reported that two trade and industry experts stated that Manitoba would lose out if the TPP were derailed and hope that president-elect Donald J. Trump changes his mind about withdrawing from the deal. The CEO of World Trade Centre Winnipeg Mariette Mulaire says, “It’s a negative for Manitoba. It’s a negative for Canada. This would have opened-up so many other channels for us.” And Keystone Agricultural Producers president Dan Mazier says the TPP would have benefited the province’s beef, pork and canola sectors, while acknowledging its dairy and poultry industries were sensitive areas.

But while business pushes hard for the TPP, CBC now reports, “Beyond Japan, Canada’s lost opportunities may be small. An economic impact study made public this fall by Global Affairs Canada found that Canada was better off inside the TPP than out. But the projected economic benefit was small relative to the deal’s scope, adding $4.3 billion annually to Canada’s gross domestic product, or just over 0.1 per cent. …Although International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland added Canada’s name to the TPP signing ceremony in Auckland, New Zealand, last winter, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has never been full-throated in his endorsement.”

On Monday November 21, Trump stated the United States would withdraw from the TPP on January 20, 2017, his first day in office. In response, Japan, the other key economy required for this deal, stated, “The TPP is meaningless without the United States.” And Canadian trade minister Chrystia Freeland commented, “Even if all other 11 ratified, there is no TPP.” That said, it has been reported that Canada will not withdraw from the TPP until February 2018, the two-year deadline that had been set by TPP countries when they signed the deal in Auckland in February 2016.

As Barlow stated at last night’s public forum, “I’ve watched these trade agreements for a long time. The TPP is not dead til it’s dead.”