Dozens of legislators from seven of the 12 countries negotiating the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement took the unprecedented step today of calling for the full TPP text to be released publicly before it is signed.
Stuart Trew's blog
It may seem incredible that a trade deal would give companies a right to profit. Incredible, but true. And the Harper government is about to give these same "rights" to European companies.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, which continue in Singapore today and tomorrow, are "not progressing according to plan" according to the U.S. negotiating chief. "The results are mediocre," says the U.S. internal briefing note.
1. City Council request the Province of Ontario to provide the City of Toronto with a clear and comprehensive briefing on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), as soon as possible.
A TPP cluster bomb dropped in Obama's lap yesterday. Here's what blew up in his face.
First, nearly half of House members have written the US President "signaling their opposition to granting so-called fast-track authority that would make any agreement immune to a Senate filibuster and not subject to amendment," writes the New York Times, adding, "No major trade pact has been approved by Congress in recent decades without such authority."
The Harper government and European Commission still cannot agree on how to handle labour and environmental rules in the recently "concluded" Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) negotiations, according to a "civil society dialogue" in Brussels this afternoon. On one side, the EU continues to oppose financial penalties when a country is found violating labour laws. On the other, Canada doesn't want any penalties at all for violating environmental rules.
A post by Robert Howse, law professor at NYU, on the International Economic Law and Policy blog suggests the Harper government has broken the law by not making the full text of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) public and allowing for public input. It starts with a bang:
It almost goes without saying that it is an egregious violation of the principles of liberal democratic governance that Canada—and the EU, apparently—are keeping the agreed, final text of the CETA a secret.
Howse argues that the Harper government's proposal to adopt the CETA triggers an obligation in Article 1802 of NAFTA, which looks like this:
As a full member of the ICSID Convention, Canada now has no objective legal means to review the decisions of private arbitration panels in investor-to-state lawsuits.
Today in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Harper tabled a technical summary of the political deal it reached with the European Union. He invited a dozen or more CEOs to witness the spectacle from the bleachers.
There are a lot of connections between the Harper government's trade and energy agendas. From dropping barriers to foreign investment in natural resources, to signing investment treaties that (intentionally) make regulating energy and mining projects more difficult, to making it easier for resource companies to import temporary labour – the interrelated objective is the continued rapid expansion for export of oil, gas and minerals.