Council of Canadians trade campaigner Sujata Dey. Photo by ITF.
Montreal-based Council of Canadians trade campaigner Sujata Dey is highlighting a new study that says the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) would cost Canada 23,000 jobs.
In an interview with Radio Canada International, she cites a new study from the Tufts University Global Development and Environment Institute that says Canada would lose 23,000 jobs between now and 2023 under CETA. Conducted by Pierre Kohler, an economist on sabbatical from the United Nations, and Servaas Storm, Professor of Economics at Delft University of Technology, this is the first academic study on CETA. It exhaustively critiques other CETA studies commissioned by Canada and the European Union based on flawed models containing neoclassical economic assumptions, which are biased towards market liberalization.
Dey says, “This is a new report using the United Nations policy model to look at the whole picture of the economy. Previous studies have been done mostly by the government itself. They assume that there is no way possible that any jobs could be lost under a trade agreement and that if there are jobs lost basically people will find new ones right away because the economy will grow. That’s there always full employment, which is impossible, we’ve almost never ever had full employment. Right now our unemployment rate is at 6 per cent here in Canada. So these are studies that have vested interests in getting a certain result. This is a very credible study by Tufts University which actually shows that everything that the government is promising is not even possible.”
The Financial Post reports, “Supporters of the deal say it would increase trade between the EU and Canada on a range of products, boosting the EU economy by US$13.5 billion.” A study by the European Commission and the Canadian government had forecast that CETA would create 80,000 jobs in Canada.
But Dey further counters, “When you look closely at those calculations you see first of all that the growth was based on a flawed study and then basically they took a back of the envelope calculation that said okay it’s this flawed study and we multiply by this we get 80,000 jobs. That’s not really serious. So this is a very serious study and what it’s saying is we’re going to lose 23,000 jobs in Canada. Our GDP will fall 0.12 per cent.”
Overall the “CETA Without Blinders” study shows that CETA signatory countries would lose 230,00 jobs.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is currently scheduled to sign CETA at a Canada-EU Summit in Brussels this coming October 28-29.
Dey highlights, “These trade agreements that we’re signing into are creating economic wealth but not necessarily for everybody and that’s what we need to look at. How we can make trade agreements that actually are fair. That are actually going to bring our labour standards up. Make it harder for corporations to just evade their responsibilities. And the way CETA is organized, and TPP, they are about getting rid of the rules that actually protect people and the environment. So we need to start thinking in these free trade agreements about how we can do this differently because we need in this global environment more rules, more ability for people to have power in the world.”
To listen to the full RCI interview with Dey, please click here.
The Tufts University study can be read here.