Ottawa – With NAFTA negotiators missing the key deadline to come up with a deal, the Council of Canadians expressed relief that NAFTA renegotiation was not completed. The Council reiterates that now is the time for a major overhaul of the flawed deal.
“We just dodged a bullet, but we have to be vigilant in the coming weeks. We are worried that the Trudeau government could rush headlong into a bad deal for our jobs and the environment,” says Maude Barlow, Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “With the potential of a new U.S. Congress with more Democrats in it, and a potentially new progressive Mexican president, the dynamics may improve for a politically better deal in the future.”
The Council of Canadians is concerned that NAFTA’s Chapter 11, the investor state dispute mechanism which has allowed 37 companies to sue Canada, is still on the table. As well, NAFTA’s energy proportionality rules remain untouched in the agreement. This prevents Canada from meeting its climate commitments because the rules require that Canada make available for export to the U.S. the same percentage of oil and gas as it has in the past three years. Recently, with the Sierra Club U.S. and Greenpeace Mexico, and the Council of Canadians published a report on NAFTA’s effects on the environment.
“The Trudeau government talks a lot about progressive trade but to reach an agreement that is actually progressive, these elements absolutely need to be removed. Anything else is just hype,” says Barlow.
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