The Council of Canadians NWT chapter has called on the City of Yellowknife to reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
In their letter, the chapter tells Mayor Mark Heyck and the eight-member city council that, “The negotiations for the TPP were extremely secretive and did not include Canadian parliamentarians or provincial/territorial and municipal governments. It did include representation from some of the world’s largest multinational corporations. Now that the negotiations are over, the final TPP agreement cannot be amended. It must be accepted as is. The TPP is extremely detrimental for the democratic authority and decision making power of municipalities and should not be ratified as written.”
The chapter notes, “The most serious flaw [in the TPP] is the Investment chapter and the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions which allow foreign corporations to seek damages through secretive trade tribunals for any laws and policies that inhibit corporate profitability. The ISDS provisions in the Investment chapter of the TPP are the enforcement mechanism for the provisions embedded within the other 29 chapters of the agreement. These chapters are far reaching – only four deal directly with tariff barriers to trade while the remaining 25 chapters deal with non-tariff barriers and what governments and citizens can/cannot do with respect to the rights and powers of transnational corporations.”
It then highlights, “The consequences of the TPP are plain for municipal as well as federal and territorial governments. For example, the TPP investment chapter Article 9.2 (2a) states that: A Party’s obligations under this Chapter shall apply to measures adopted or maintained by the central, regional or local governments or authorities of that Party. This TPP clause specifically implicates the decisions made by local levels of government in the ISDS process. This means that decisions made by local governments that impact the potential for the profits of foreign corporations from TPP countries could be the basis of a claim for compensation.”
Their letter concludes, “The NWT Chapter of the Council of Canadians respectfully requests that the City of Yellowknife formally oppose this deal and bring its opposition to the NWT Association of Communities requesting NWTAC to do likewise and to make this opposition known to the GNWT and the Federal Government in the form of a motion requesting that the Canadian government not ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”
Yesterday, Paul Manly wrote, “Success! – After a ten minute presentation to Nanaimo City Council about why Canada must reject the TPP followed by a 20 minute Q&A, councilors voted unanimously to support this motion. THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT: ‘Nanaimo Mayor and Council express its opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement and communicate this to Prime Minister Trudeau, Cabinet Ministers and every Member of Parliament.'” To read his letter to Mayor Bill McKay and Nanaimo city council, please click here.
Prior to the completion of the negotiations on the TPP, Oshawa, Ingersoll, Zorra Township and Essex County, all major automotive communities, passed resolutions calling on the Canadian government to defend auto jobs in trade negotiations. When the TPP talks were concluded, the Globe and Mail reported, “Domestic-content requirements for automobiles will be slashed from the 60 per cent now required under the North American Free Trade Agreement. The minimum content requirement for vehicles and ‘core’ and ‘priority’ parts will fall to 45 per cent of net value to qualify for duty-free access inside the TPP. The minimum threshold on all other auto parts will be 40 per cent.” This will mean the loss of thousands of jobs.
On December 2, 2015, Vancouver/Burnaby chapter activist Penny Tilby told us, “Three people from the Vancouver/Burnaby Chapter spoke at City Hall yesterday in favour of a motion by Councillor Adriane Carr, asking City Council to oppose the TPP and urge the Federal Government not to sign on.” The Globe and Mail further explains, “Vancouver city councillors, concerned about whether the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact will put the city at risk from lawsuits by global corporations, say they’ll decide next month whether to become the first Canadian city to officially oppose the deal. Councillors asked city staff on [December 15] to examine concerns that the TPP’s investor-state dispute settlement provision – also known as ISDS – will compromise the city’s authority by allowing corporations to sue over municipal legislation that results in loss of profits.” A city council vote on this issue is still pending.
On November 12, 2015, New York City Council passed a resolution that states: “Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York declares itself a ‘TPP-Free Zone’ and urges Congress not to grant President Obama ‘fast-track’ authority over, or permission to sign, the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.” Other cities that have passed similar resolutions include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Seattle.
For more on our campaign to defeat the TPP, please click here.