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LETTER: Brady opposes Canada-China FIPA

Council of Canadians Board member and Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter activist Roy Brady wrote the following letter of opposition to the Canada-China FIPA in the Peterborough Examiner:

Council of Canadians activist Roy Brady

Council of Canadians activist Roy Brady

Re: “Trade deal transparent, benefits both sides”

MP Dean Del Mastro has repeated the federal government arguments for its secretly negotiated Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) with China, but should have read and understood the terms of this trade and investment agreement to avoid misleading his constituents.

The agreement does restrict Canadian governments and agencies from legislation, regulation and public policy on behalf of their citizens if China contests that the potential to make investment profits is threatened. It is the explicit purpose of the agreement to ensure that such foreign investment arrives uninhibited. Oddly, there is no indication of reciprocity for Canadian investment in China.

Australia has faced such investor-state challenges in the past, so last year that government decided to not negotiate such protections found in FIPA.

The biggest threat is to Canadian environmental protection, which has already been seriously impaired by the federal government in the two huge omnibus bills this year. The Harper government wants wholesale resource extraction and export to China, even if the corporation is controlled by the Chinese government, which would be the case if the Chinese national corporation is successful in its current takeover bid for Nexen Inc.

When China decides to initiate such a lawsuit for compensation, permitted by FIPA, it is up to China to decide whether the terms are made public, unlike all previous trade and investment agreements. Del Mastro favours international, secret arbitration, thus bypassing the Canadian judicial system entirely.

FIPA is a dangerous trade and investment deal that has been framed to favour Chinese state and private corporations.

ROY BRADY Council of Canadians
Peterborough and Kawarthas

For more on our campaign against Canada-China FIPA, please see http://canadians.org/action/2012/Canada-China-FIPA.html and http://canadians.org/blog/?s=%22canada-china%22.