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PEI chapter warns parliamentary committee TPP would boost US military power in Asia-Pacific

The Council of Canadians PEI chapter presented to the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade today. The committee is visiting the Atlantic provinces this week seeking input on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Chapter activist Leo Broderick tells us, “The main point I made, after saying we supported all the presentations today that opposed the TPP and for the reasons given, was that Canada should not ratify the TPP because it is very much connected to rising US militarism in Asia Pacific as the US shifts its foreign policy to Asia.”

In November 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit in Beijing that APEC members had agreed to a two-year study into the feasibility of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). At that time, The Guardian commented, “The FTAAP would build on other initiatives including the smaller US-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership, but China’s firm advocacy of the plan over TPP has added to Sino-US trade rivalry. …Some Chinese analysts and state media have framed the TPP as an attempt [by the United States] to check Beijing’s growing economic clout – allegations Washington dismisses.”

Broderick told the committee, “The TPP will significantly boost US military power in the Asia-Pacific region. And for that reason alone Canada should not be part of any agreement that will bring instability to that region. Canada needs to reject militarism and promote and work for stability and peace.”

Broderick also quoted US President Barack Obama’s comments about the TPP in relation to China. In May 2016, President Obama wrote in The Washington Post, “As we speak, China is negotiating a trade deal that would carve up some of the fastest-growing markets in the world at our expense, putting American jobs, businesses and goods at risk. …America should write the rules. America should call the shots. Other countries should play by the rules that America and our partners set, and not the other way around. That’s what the TPP gives us the power to do.”

The committee heard from our Saint John chapter yesterday, our PEI chapter today, and will hear from our St. John’s chapter on Wednesday and then from Council of Canadians activists in Halifax on Thursday.

The Council of Canadians has also been encouraging people to send their comments on the TPP to the parliamentary committee. To send your letter before the October 31 deadline, please click here.

The twelve countries that have signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership have set a deadline of November 2017 to ratify the deal.

For more on our campaign to Stop the TPP, please click here.