February 21st, 2018

NDP Statement on the CPTPP

NDP International Trade Critic, Tracey Ramsey, made the following statement:

“The Liberal government released the text of the wide-ranging Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), only two weeks before the official signing of the agreement in Santiago, Chile on March 8th, 2018.

The multiple side letters that have been completed, including ones relating to protection of our culture and automotive sector, will not be released until after the official signing of the deal. The agreement does not contain a gender chapter or a chapter on the rights of Indigenous peoples, and establishes very weak labour provisions. How can the Liberals brand this deal in any way progressive?

Although the government has suspended some of the problematic provisions in the deal, there are still many unanswered questions. The Liberals negotiated this deal behind closed doors despite the overwhelming opposition by Canadians to its previous version. The CPTPP is clearly a continuation of the Liberal record of secrecy in trade negotiations.

The deal contains labour provisions that require a complainant to show that an alleged violation has an impact on trade, a standard so high that there has never been a successful labour complaint under any free trade agreement that contains such a mechanism.

When it comes to the projected economic impact of this deal, projections show a negligible 0.082% increase in Canadian GDP by 2035. There are provisions that will further weaken our supply-managed sectors and investor-state provisions, which have been destructive to our environment and corrosive to the sovereignty of our government.

Absent a few suspended provisions, this deal is largely the same as the old TPP. And the dozens of side letters signed with CPTPP countries are still secret. Canadians deserve better.”