Ottawa – Canada would lose 23,000 jobs between now and 2023 under the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), according to a new study from the Tufts University Global Development and Environment Institute. The Council of Canadians is now questioning why the government continues to push the Harper-era deal. Today, International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland is in Wolfsburg, Germany to promote the deal at the German social democratic convention (SPD) where a divisive vote will determine their position on CETA.
“There are a lot of myths about free trade and CETA. Here’s an independent study that suggests that there aren’t economic gains – only job losses, inequality, and the erosion of the public sector,” says Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “But that’s only the economic part. We haven’t begun to quantify the damage to our laws, policies, and democracies through regulatory harmonization and corporate lawsuits challenging our environmental and social standards. Not to mention attacks on farmers and municipalities. So what are we getting out of this?”
The report also notes:
- Public services are under attack. Tax income will decrease by 0.12 per cent of GDP. Public spending will fall by 0.20 per cent of GDP. This is due to the increased competition for investors under CETA, where countries compete for investment by reducing corporate taxes.
- Workers get less of the pie: While productivity gains create higher profits, employment creation and workers’ incomes will stagnate. For every two additional dollars that would have normally gone to workers, one of those dollars will now go to owners and investors. This amounts to losses of $2,656 per person over seven years, a far cry from government projections of a $1,000 cheque per person every year.
- Canada’s GDP would fall 0.12 per cent. The study reiterates that many economists do not see a strong link between export growth and GDP growth.
Conducted by Pierre Kohler, an economist on sabbatical from the United Nations, and Servaas Storm, Professor of Economics at Delft University of Technology, this is the first academic study on CETA. It exhaustively critiques other CETA studies commissioned by Canada and the EU based on flawed models containing neoclassical economic assumptions, which are biased towards market liberalization. The Tufts study uses the United Nations Global Policy Model.
“Previous governments have all promised us $1,000 more in our pockets, and 80,000 new jobs. The 80,000 jobs, it seems, was just a back-of-the-envelope calculation extrapolated from the results of a flawed study,” says Sujata Dey, trade campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “This study is a fascinating read into how some economic models don’t calculate how our jobs will be affected, and don’t even fathom the idea that our jobs could ever be lost because of a trade agreement. This weekend, 320,000 Germans and Austrians hit the streets to protect themselves from this agreement. It is no wonder.
For more information or to arrange interviews: