Trade campaigner Sujata Dey mailed magnifying glasses to a dozen Canadian reporters to challenge them to report on the behind closed doors TPP 11 talks happening at an undisclosed location in Toronto this week.
The Council of Canadians is speaking against the 'TPP 11' talks that are continuing today in Toronto.
The deputy ministers from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries are meeting May 2-3 to discuss "potential next steps" for the deal prior to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade ministers’ summit on May 20-21 with a target completion date the APEC leaders summit this coming November 10-11.
Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow says, "Deals like the TPP never truly die. Their destructive nature – killing jobs and the environment – lives on in other forms. Even without the U.S., other countries are trying to revive the dubious legacy of the TPP. It’s time they got the message: People are tired of these agreements, and we must do better.”
Inside U.S. Trade quotes a Canadian embassy spokesperson saying, “Canada is a strong supporter of progressive free trade and the Asia-Pacific remains an important region and a priority market for our Government. In March 2017, Asia-Pacific Ministers instructed senior trade officials to consider potential paths forward to enhance and strengthen free and fair trade throughout the Asia Pacific region and report back to Ministers at APEC in Vietnam in May. Canada is pleased that senior trade officials from each of the 11 TPP countries will be attending and we look forward to a candid discussion on potential next steps."
Nikkei Asian Review adds, "Remaining signatories to the Trans-Pacific Partnership launched their first full-fledged negotiations Tuesday afternoon on a so-called TPP 11 trade pact without American participation as new senior partner Japan hoped for an agreement this year. ...Together with Australia and New Zealand, the other leading proponents of an 11-way pact, it aims to bring the remaining countries on board quickly and with no changes to stipulations previously agreed on. Tokyo sees November's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference as a target date."
Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo says, "Australia, New Zealand and Canada have been at the forefront of this discussion."
In addition, the Huffington Post article highlights, "The talks among the so-called 'TPP 11' are taking place at an undisclosed location in Toronto — a fact that has trade activists worried any new deal will be shaped without the public’s input. That was a key concern about the initial TPP deal as well." To highlight this point, Council of Canadians trade campaigner Sujata Dey mailed magnifying glasses to various journalists encouraged them to track down and report on the meeting.
On April 10, the Liberal-dominated House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade issued its report on the TPP. It recommended, "That, recognizing the United States’ withdrawal from the TPP and wanting to conclude agreements that are in the best interests of Canadians, the Government of Canada actively pursue a trade and investment agreement with TPP signatories, as well as additional trade and investment agreements in the Asia-Pacific region. These agreements should be pursued on a priority basis, and should supplement other measures designed to support the trade and investment activities of Canadian businesses in the Asia-Pacific region."
The NDP's dissenting opinion to the Standing Committee's report notes, "Despite the Committee’s study being called a public consultation, the Committee’s report gives little attention to the input provided by members of the public. The report provides no analysis or breakdown of the nearly 50,000 emails and letters received by the Committee. It is worth noting that every individual who spoke at the public participation sessions expressed concerns with the TPP and in most cases opposed the agreement outright."
Their report also noted, "Despite Global Affairs Canada receiving over 30,000 public submissions between October 19, 2015 and June 24, 2016, the Minister of International Affairs failed to provide the Committee with any analysis or breakdown of the results of these consultations."
To send a letter to the Trudeau government asking it to immediately withdraw from the TPP, please click here.