As trade ministers from across the Pacific Rim prepare to discuss the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Chile today and tomorrow, the Council of Canadians along with more than 200 organizations representing citizens across the Pacific Rim urged their governments to reject the TPP. This trade model has failed, and a more open and democratic process is needed to develop genuine alternatives that confront the economic, social and environmental challenges of the 21st century.
“Deals like the TPP never truly die. Their destructive nature – killing jobs and the environment – lives on in other forms,” said Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “Even without the U.S., other countries are trying to revive the dubious legacy of the TPP. It’s time they got the message: People are tired of these agreements, and we must do better.”
When Donald Trump gave official notice of the U.S. withdrawal from the TPP process, he acknowledged the obvious: that the deal died under the weight of its own terms and could not achieve sufficient support in the U.S. Congress to be ratified. Civil society organizations from all the TPP countries had campaigned for years against the deal – delaying its conclusion past the 2012 deadline and ultimately leading to its demise.
Now that the TPP is dead, the 200 organizations – including international organizations such as the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and Friends of the Earth International, as well scores of national organizations from Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, South Korea, United States and Vietnam – believe that citizens are better off without the TPP. The groups urged their trade ministers to resist any attempt to revive the TPP or insert its rules into future trade negotiations, whether bilateral, regional or multilateral.
“Thousands of Canadians have been consulted, and 95 per cent of them say that they don’t want this deal no matter what. No amount of rebranding will change that,” said Sujata Dey, Trade Campaigner for the Council of Canadians. “That means they don’t want the original TPP, they don’t want a repackaged TPP with 11 countries, and they certainly don’t want to bring the worst of the TPP into NAFTA. Our trade minister has to uphold the government’s promise to consult and listen to Canadians. It is time to show leadership and pull the plug.”