Tomorrow, the federal government is attempting to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership through Parliament. Known now by the new and the unwieldy name Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), this will be today’s second order of business.
It will be framed as a matter of national urgency. The government and corporate Canada will claim that Canada desperately needs to pass this bill or our very economic security is in danger. Predictably, they will say that, with a question mark hanging over NAFTA, Canada needs to diversify its trade away from the United States.
Many people see trade agreements as vital in helping Canada export more. But that may not be what Canada needs.
Let’s take the case of CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union. It is now one year since the agreement was implemented. And no growth in European exports.