Canadian Progressives Need To Keep Speaking Out On Trade

Trade is quickly dominating the public agenda in Canada.

Trade with the United States and Mexico, trade with Pacific Rim countries, trade with Europe, trade with China, trade in auto and auto parts, trade in dairy, trade in culture, trade in, well, everything, it seems.

Consider that Canada is currently renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. and Mexico. The latest round in those talks opened this week.

As if that weren’t enough, the Canadian government announced last week that it is seeking the public’s input on reviving the currently dead Trans-Pacific Partnership. At the same time, the trade deal with Europe, referred to as CETA, is now partially in effect, and Canada is exploring a trade pact with China.

In short, trade deals seem to be breaking out everywhere, and it is vital the progressive left in Canada remain active and alert to all the threats that free trade agreements may pose.

For too long, trade deals have not really been about trade, but about restricting the role of government to set social policy or influence economic development

For too long, free trade deals have been written to serve the needs of corporations and wealthy investors, with fingers crossed that this would trickle down to help working people and their communities.

This has not happened. Instead, with free trade we have continually seen a race to the bottom that has pitted worker against worker. Making it easier and cheaper for firms to move products back and forth across borders hardens the stick corporations wield over its workers. This sort of “free trade discipline” is on full display right now at the Chevy Equinox facility in Ingersoll, Ont. — as General Motors arrogantly announced a ramping up of car production in Mexico in response to …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel

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