March 8th, 2018

Ramsey calls TPP signing a betrayal of working people

ESSEX – NDP International Trade Critic, Tracey Ramsey called the government’s signing of the revised TransPacific Partnership a betrayal of Canadian workers and Canadian values. The Liberal government released the text of the wide-ranging TPP only two weeks ago and upon signing the deal, 27 additional side letters (binding and non-binding) were released.

“The Liberals have signed an agreement today that was negotiated behind closed doors, despite overwhelming public opposition, and that experts believe will be harmful to our automotive, manufacturing and supply-managed sectors,” said Ramsey. “I am highly critical of this signing considering the turbulent position Canada currently finds itself in with our largest trading partner, the United States.”
Ramsey continued on to say that, “Despite praise from the Minister of International Trade about the multiple side letters in this deal, they remain largely unenforceable, and are not enough to make this deal either economically viable or progressive.”

The projected economic impact of this deal shows only a negligible 0.082% increase in Canadian GDP by 2035, according to some experts. There are provisions that will further weaken our supply-managed sectors and the TPP includes investor-state provisions, which are corrosive to the sovereignty of our government.

Ramsey noted, “This government has promised to incorporate progressive elements into all of its trade agreements, but the CPTPP contains all of the same problems as the old TPP. The environmental provisions of this agreement are weak. In addition, working people across Canada will be impacted negatively, but Ontario’s manufacturing sector will be especially hard hit, because of this poor decision by the federal government.”

The Liberals pushed very hard to rebrand this Conservative negotiated deal as “progressive”, however this agreement does not contain a gender chapter or a chapter on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, and establishes very weak labour provisions. In fact, New Democrats find it particularly interesting that on International Women’s Day, the Liberals signed this agreement which doesn’t include a gender chapter or and which did not include a gender-based analysis.

New Democrats will never stop fighting for truly fair and progressive trade that respects the rights of Canadians.