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LETTER: Trew challenges Windsor Star CETA endorsement

A Windsor Star editorial recently stated, “A joint Canada-EU impact study that was released in late 2008 estimated a free-trade pact would increase bilateral trade by more than 20 per cent, or about $12 billion in terms of Canadian output in just a few years. …A CETA with the EU would provide another important economic tool for Windsor-Essex.”

In a letter to the editor published by the Windsor Star today, Council of Canadians trade campaigner Stuart Trew responds, “Your recent editorial on the benefits to Windsor of a free trade agreement with the European Union was overly optimistic. By relying on the government’s 2008 assessment of the deal, it is also out-of-date. According to an independent assessment of the proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), performed by a private firm in the EU and released in early August, Canada’s GDP is estimated to increase by between 0.18 and 0.36 per cent from transatlantic free trade. Optimistically, that would be half of the 0.77-per-cent GDP increase the Harper government continues to promise from CETA, or $6 billion versus the $12-billion figure your editorial suggests. Using the smaller prediction of a 0.18-per-cent boost, we could be looking at a paltry $3 billion in added economic gains.”

Trew highlights, “Consequently, according to the most credible study, that’s the amount CETA is predicted to cost Canadians in increased prescription drug prices if intellectual property reforms sought by the EU are part of the final deal.”

His letter can be read at http://www.windsorstar.com/business/Ties+trade+could+hurt+Canada/5374938/story.html.