On February 18, CETA passed in the lower house of the Netherlands Parliament by just three votes, 71 to 68. The Council of Canadians played a role in revealing how Canadian regulators were using the agreement to undermine EU regulations on toxins and other products. In response, CETA's supporters called our critiques "fake news" and "Canada bashing". In the end, the Dutch lower house passed a resolution based on our findings.
Sujata Dey's blog
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.
A true democratic debate should address not only how to remove the worst aspects of this corporate-friendly trade agreement, but also look at how we can create agreements that respond to the climate crisis, increasing economic global inequality, and corporate control of our regulations and of our economies.
Before Parliament adjourned for the summer, the race to ratify the new NAFTA was on. At the time, then Foreign Affairs Minister and now Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland advocated swift passage of the new NAFTA’s implementing bill and warned against reopening the agreement.Back then, many of us at the Council of Canadians were naysayers.
Yesterday, we were proven right. There were significant, positive changes to the agreement, including some of those you and I fought for.
Squeezed between nativists who seek to obliterate the world trading system for their own purposes and neo-liberals who want to use trade regimes to erode public power, the ongoing debate is missing a vision of a progressive system of trade rules. Too often, progressives end up rejecting trade agreements instead of proposing avenues for transforming world trade.
To address some of these questions, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Trade Justice Network held a day-long symposium in Ottawa on October 30 titled “Beyond Neo-Liberalism: Toward an Agenda for People and the Planet.”
In France, which recently ratified CETA by a thin margin, voting for the agreement has been a political liability. The offices of 20 MNAs who voted for the agreement have been vandalized, manure has been dropped at their headquarters, and supporters have been booed and attacked on Twitter. Meanwhile, in Canada, it is business as usual as Prime Minister Trudeau attacks those who dare to critique the agreement. Why the difference?
As both Mexico and Canada bend over backwards to ratify the new NAFTA, our politicians are cornered into the position of "there is no alternative" than to appease President Trump. However, there is no alternative to having a planet, and there must be an alternative to corporate globalization within our trade treaties. We must embolden our politicians to not be captured by corporate interests.
In a new hard-hitting Council of Canadians report, economics and pipeline expert Gordon Laxer reveals special provisions in the new trade deal that will allow the federal government to continue to subsidize the Trans Mountain (TMX) pipeline.
We hear a lot about how U.S. dairy thinks Canada's supply management system is unfair to them. And that the new NAFTA – with its access to Canadian markets – is a win for U.S. dairy.
But one Wisconsin dairy farmer disagrees. He says that the new NAFTA will not solve the woes of American dairy. He adds that Canada's supply management system is to be admired, not attacked.
The Trudeau government has continued to fast-track the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) through Parliament. Just this morning, it was sent for second reading – just 17 days after it was first presented.