Friday, April 01, 2016

Stiglitz to Trudeau - Don't Sign the TPP

The Trudeau government should be grateful for free advice - when it comes from a Nobel prize laureate economist, Joe Stiglitz.

Dr. Stiglitz' advice to Trudeau is that the Trans Pacific Partnership may well be the worst trade deal ever and Canada would do well to turn it down and, at a minimum, demand to renegotiate its terms.

"I think what Canada should do is use its influence to begin a renegotiation of TPP to make it an agreement that advances the interests of Canadian citizens and not just the large corporations," he said in an interview with CBC'sThe Exchange on Thursday.

Stiglitz takes issue with the TPP's investment-protection provisions, which he says could interfere with the ability of governments to regulate business or to move toward a low-carbon economy.

It's the "worst part of agreement," he says, because it allows large multinationals to sue the Canadian government.

"It used to be the basic principle was polluter pay," Stiglitz said. "If you damaged the environment, then you have to pay. Now if you pass a regulation that restricts ability to pollute or does something about climate change, you could be sued and could pay billions of dollars."

There were similar provisions in North American Free Trade Agreement that led to the Canadian government being sued, but the TPP goes even further.

He said the provision could be used to prevent raising of minimum wages or to overturn rules that prevent usury or predatory lending practices.


Justin Trudeau never got anybody's mandate to sign this sell-out deal, to surrender that much more of our dwindling sovereignty to the shadow state of corporatism.

The best argument that the Libs have come up with for adopting the TPP is that, if we don't, we'll be screwed. Actually Canada will be truly screwed - by our own government at that - if the Liberals throw us to the wolves and sign the TPP.

Let's remember the essay written by Robert Reich from just two weeks ago in which he stripped the veneer off these corporatist deals. Free trade agreements began with the promise of increasing trade, increasing jobs, and raising wages. Today's agreements, like the TPP, do none of that. The benefit of these deals flows to the transnationals at the expense of the public.


14 comments:

Toby said...

The Liberal government is disappointing me on this. They are hiding behind warm and fuzzy talk. They seem to fear facing the TPP honestly and openly.

It looks to me that it is either the environment or the TPP but not both.

Hugh said...

I think what's happening is the arbitration lawyers see the TPP as a growth opportunity: More costly ISDS challenges which benefit them! The whole arbitration 'industry' loves trade deals!

Surely we can enjoy mutually beneficial trade with other countries without inviting companies and investors to sue us when they don't like our legislation.

Hugh said...

Government's primary motivation seems to be to grow the economy. Maybe that's why they want the TPP, they see it as a way to grow the economy.

Endless economic growth is seen as a panacea.

Anonymous said...

The TTP will not grow the economy. It will make a few rich people even richer while the Canadian economy flounders.

Anonymous said...

The only way Junior will not sign the TPP is if a US president tears it up and there is nothing to sign.

Clinton created the TPP, so it won't be her.

Who on Earth knows what Trump would do.

Sanders will tear it up (and he can beat Trump.)

Pamela Mac Neil said...

What's with the ridiculous comment by this government that if we don't sign it were screwed?
"They seem to fear facing the TPP honestly and openly" Toby hit the nail on the head. The question is why. When a man of Stiglitz's knowledge pretty well tells them to walk away from this deal isn't it time to seriously listen and why isn't he one of the governments advisors on the TPP. The Liberals also seem to be looking for reasons to sign/ratify it.Would our own government really sell us out by signing away our wealth and sovereignty with this deal?

The Mound of Sound said...


Pamela, you ask critical questions for which there appear to be no ready answers. We can merely speculate - and hope.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Mound of Sound said...

You're right, Anon. We should all be pissed off with that jackass Mulcair for running such a lousy, "balanced budget" campaign while running his party from first place straight into the cellar.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Mound of Sound said...

To the previous 'anonymouse' commenters. I'm sorry Mulcair set the NDP up to fail. I realize you were so hoping this election was your time. It could have been, maybe should have been. You blew it. The Canadian people, "suckers" in your parlance, threw you back in the cellar where disrespectful churls belong. Stay down there until you understand that the people aren't wrong because they reject Cap'n "Balanced Budgets" and we promise to turn the lights back on.

Now I'm tired of your endless whinging so I'm deleting your childish comments. Adios.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Mound of Sound said...

Sorry, Anonymouse, but another post criticizing the government's intentions on TPP is about the opposite of what you would get from an "establishment Liberal."

If you're going to hit it that hard, stay off the swill. It's messing with your mind.