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REPORT: Unions release study on proposed Canada-European Union trade agreement

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), along with the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), have released a study arguing that the proposed trade agreement between Canada and the European Union is fundamentally flawed and a thorough rethinking of the whole approach to international trade is needed.

The unions highlight five major concerns with the proposed agreement:

– a full evaluation of the social, environmental and labour impacts of the proposed agreement has never been completed;

– the negotiations are taking place outside of public scrutiny and there is a need for greater transparency of the process;

– the public needs assurances that the proposed agreement would not interfere with the right of governments to regulate in the public interest, protect existing public services or create new public programs;

– it is important that the agreement not contain a provision like Chapter 11 in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which allows an investor or private company to challenge laws or regulations of a government that is a party to the trade agreement, and receive financial compensation; and

– and the the agreement must not force governments to open public procurement to foreign companies.

To read the 15-page ‘A Critical Assessment of the Proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreenent Between the European Union and Canada’ report, go to www.nupge.ca/files/publications/Critical_Assess_EU_Can_Deal.pdf.