Photo by The Toronto Star
U.S. President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a trade agreement to replace NAFTA at the end of November – a deal that groups, including the Council of Canadians, say is still fundamentally flawed.
A recent article on Common Dreams website examines reactions from concerned groups who say the new NAFTA deal includes devastating impacts for farmers, workers and the environment.
Political leaders are not even in agreement about how the new deal will be implemented. President Trump is saying this is an entirely new deal and he will be asking U.S. Congress to scrap the original NAFTA deal. Prime Minister Trudeau, on the other hand, has noted that much of the original NAFTA is still in place.
Council of Canadians Honorary Chairperson Maude Barlow says the deal in its current form has "many poison pills."
As noted in the article, “A positive development, added the group's trade campaigner Sujata Dey, was that some of their long-standing demands had been met. ‘The Council of Canadians was among the first to draw attention to how Chapter 11 would harm our ability to bring in public interest policy and legislation. Now, it is gone—at least between Canada and the U.S.
But in the closed door negotiations of the USMCA, corporations came up with new rights: powers for corporations to monitor and change regulations before they see the light of day in areas that could affect food safety, chemicals, environmental regulations and other matters of public safety,’" Dey explained.
"The agreement also supports higher drug prices because of Big Pharma protectionism and allows attacks on farmers and Crown corporations,” she added. “Again, free trade is a goody bag for corporations. Why must we constantly sign agreements that empower the corporate one per cent at the expense of the rest of us?"