Lessons from NAFTA 2.1. Future trade deals must be open to the public!
From the beginning, it was clear CUSMA was going to be a corporate-friendly trade agreement. With President Trump in the White House, the old NAFTA as a template, media hysteria around the possible loss of NAFTA, and corporations being granted preferential access to the negotiations, the stage was set.
But in Canada, our arcane processes did not allow the public or parliamentarians in. This must change.
Together with labour, citizen’s groups, environmental and faith groups in the three countries, we successfully campaigned to get rid of some of NAFTA’s most destructive provisions. While we succeeded in removing certain provisions like Chapter 11 and the energy proportionality clause, which we have fought against for decades, we were unable to prevent problematic new provisions like the erosion of farming conditions and corporate-friendly forums to impact regulations.