CF’s submission on the TPP to the Standing Committee on International Trade

Author: Janet M Eaton, PhD,
Contributors: Rick Arnold, Raul Burbano

Executive Summary

This brief questions the rationale behind the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and its associated investor rights agreement and goes on to point out how it will adversely impact various sectors including the industries where Canadians still find good jobs in agriculture, the auto industry, IP and the public sector all of which risk being diminished by this agreement. It also expresses concerns for the way in which the TPP negotiators are writing rules for a global governance system which gives corporate interests preeminence over national government’s responsibility to legislate on behalf of its peoples and over International Law and Human rights upon which a democratic and stable world is predicated. We fear that sovereignty, democracy, and our judicial system will be diminished under the TPP and that the laws and regulations that protect Canadians and our public services, health, education, and environment will be further eroded.

Common Frontiers views the issues stemming from the TPP and other mega-trade agreements, TTIP, CETA and TISA, within the broader context of Neoliberalism under which free trade agreements are one of several tools, which seek to shift power away from governments and toward the corporate sector, along with de-regulation, privatization, and elimination of public services through smaller government. We submit that Neoliberalism is broadly recognized as flawed and failing.

We recommend against signing the TPP and offer suggestions for designing a trade system that works for a sustainable 21st Century.

We believe a paradigm shift from the current global economic model is imperative in order to mitigate the threats of economic and ecological collapse. Common Frontiers has been concerned for many years with the root causes of global economic failure and in that context has explored the notion of planned ‘Degrowth’ and other economic/cultural models such as ‘buen vivir’ that have a reduced ecological footprint.

The full set of recommendations are found in a separate section at the end of this brief.