CETA is Coming Are You Scared Yet

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Aristotleded24 wrote:

[url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccnwcLp1UjI]Ed Broadbent speaks about the impact that free trade has had on Canada[/url]

It's interesting that Broadbent mentions how Quebec was overwhelmingly in favour of the trade deal that was sold by Mulroney. What's Quebec's current opinion on CETA? Is Mulcair's position reflective of that opinion?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

ACTION ALERT: Quebec gets CETA consultation – Why can’t we?

Updated October 5, 2012

A final round of Canada-European Union free trade talks is just around the bend. From October 15 to 26, Canadian negotiators will be in Brussels to wrap up the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), or so they hope. That means a deal could be signed before the end of the year without any of us having a chance to see what’s in it!

On October 5, the newly elected Parti Québécois government in Québec, under pressure from students, labour unions, trade justice activists and others, held a consultation on the CETA negotiations with over 50 civil society organizations, journalists, researchers and opposition members of the provincial legislature.

Jean-François Lisée, the PQ trade minister, wrote in his blog that the input from this meeting will “allow us to make clear recommendations to caucus, the Council of Ministers and the Premier regarding the mandate to give our negotiating team.” Even this late in the day, the Quebec government is apparently opening a small crack in the CETA negotiations for public input.

- snip -

Whatever your position on these issues or the Canada-EU trade deal generally, it's hard to argue that provincial or territorial trade negotiators and a tiny group of ministers should have the exclusive authority to make a final decision in these and other areas. The Quebec government has opened the door a crack to the public. It’s time all provinces and territories followed this good example before it’s too late.

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an earlier link:

By Stuart Trew, Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

 

On December 8, Quebec’s Canada-EU trade deal negotiator, Pierre Marc Johnson, will present to the Commission des Institutions (of the provincial legislature) on the status of the CETA negotiations. Outside, a protest is planned to call for full transparency and public debate.

The hearing with Johnson is partly the result of new pressure from Quebec legislators for more information about CETA. In early October, at a press conference organized by the Quebec Network on Continental Integration (RQIC), Quebec Solidaire said it opposed new generation trade deals designed to open up public services to more privatization. The party called for a public debate on CETA, and called out Johnson for his role on the advisory board of an economic think tank owned by private water, power and transit firm Veolia Environment.

Even after securing tomorrow’s hearing on CETA, other MLAs, including Louise Beaudoin, formerly of the Parti quebecois and now an independent from the Rosemont riding, demanded to see the full text of the CETA, along with Canada’s offers to the EU, so that questions for Mr. Johnson could be as well informed as possible. The negotiator refused.

- snip -

This new interest among Quebec MLAs is entirely the result of a strong and growing anti-CETA movement in the province made up of groups like RQIC, the SCFP (CUPE Quebec), Attac-Quebec, Eau Secours! and others, who will be rallying outside the legislature tomorrow to reinforce calls for transparency. The Council of Canadians supports the mobilization and has invited its Quebec members to attend. The letter also invites Quebec residents to sign the petition before the legislature calling for open debate on CETA.

As an added bonus to all this activity, the CETA Trojan Horse will join the action December 8 to symbolize how much there is in the agreement that has nothing to do with trade. The 14-foot wooden horse was first seen outside Parliament Hill during the last round of Canada-EU trade talks at the end of October. It left its home in Napanee earlier this week for the gallop to Quebec’s capital city.

- snip -

But a recent article in Le Devoir reports the EU Commission will not agree to a deal based on the quality of the procurement offer so far. That’s good news for us and for the growing number of municipalities in Canada asking their provincial governments to exclude them from CETA. Recently, the City of Stratford and Township of Pelee, both in Ontario, joined this group. So did the Quebec town of Baie-Comean. RQIC, SCFP and other Quebec organizations have launched a campaign to encourage more municipalities in Quebec to seek an exemption in CETA.

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Quebec Solidaire reaches across the Atlantic for a progressive alliance against CETA   January 30, 2013

Quebec Solidaire, a social movement-based political party in the provincial legislature, has written to progressive European parliamentarians for assistance in forming a common resistance to the Canada-EU free trade deal (CETA). The letter was sent on the same day as news reports suggested Quebec Premier Pauline Marois could oppose the Canada-EU deal if the province's interests are not protected. Quebec trade justice activists profited from the new attention to the CETA negotiations by staging an action outside of the provincial trade minister's offices in Montreal on Tuesday.

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dp

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autoworker wrote:
 What's Quebec's current opinion on CETA? Is Mulcair's position reflective of that opinion?

I think there's total opposition to CETA in Quebec from unions and progressives. My guess is the top 1% support CETA.

My guess about Mulcair is that he opposes CETA judgeing from the anti-CETA pages on the NDP website (I'm on dialup - all I can get to are the article headings). But, then again, Open letter to Thomas Mulcair: Maintain NDP's opposition to 'trade' deals like CETA

As for Quebecers.....

Quebec consultation today

Following the briefing with Verheul, the Trade Justice Network caught up with Quebec allies on how their consultation with the new Parti Quebecois government went. The information they received from Quebec negotiator Pierre Marc Johnson was much the same as what we heard on the DFAIT call today, but the openness to concerns from civil society was refreshing. (One interesting little PMJ tidbit was that Canada wants to finish CETA before February 2013 when the U.S. and EU are expected to begin their own comprehensive trade and investment negotiations. We’ve known from Day 1 the U.S. is Europe’s ultimate prize — Canada is just a stepping stone.)

A door was opened for suggestions on how to change the province’s negotiating mandate, and that could be the difference between giving up the store or holding the line on things like local content in transit and energy procurement. It could also mean pulling municipal governments out of the deal completely. I’m thinking big here, dreaming some might say, but when doors open a crack your impulse is to kick them wide open.

That’s what we’re hoping to do across Canada — to take the Quebec example by demanding open consultations with other provincial governments. We’ll have a fresh Action Alert up on Tuesday to help you do that. In the meantime, you can use our older Alert aimed at provincial governments by clicking here. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

This entry was posted on Friday, October 5th, 2012 at 5:13 pm and is filed under Various. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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NDP and CETA: Government must put its cards on the table

There are other NDP - CETA links but I can't get to them on dialup. The NDP web page is especially unfriendly to users of dialup.

I think I posted this earlier:

Mulcair ponders support for Canada-Europe pact Federal NDP leader adopts moderate tone at the risk of alienating strident members of his caucus

excerpt:

Harper's comment followed Mulcair's recent statement to The Vancouver Sun that he is "very open" to endorsing a Canada-EU deal, as long as concerns in areas like prescription drugs are satisfied.

Mulcair elaborated further in a major foreign policy address last week in Quebec, historically one of Canada's most pro-free trade provinces.

"The NDP is enthusiastic about deepening and broadening our commercial links with Europe," he said, citing the EU's high standards for labour, environmental and human rights.

Mulcair's comments raised eyebrows in a Canadian union movement that, only last week, joined other Canadian and European labour and environmental groups to denounce expected Canada-EU concessions to major multinational corporations.

But Mulcair's statements are part of a long-term strategy, evident under the late Jack Layton, to gradually moderate the NDP's position.

==========================

Actually, I think what is happening here is that Mulcair is repeating Layton's fear of being branded "anti-trade" by the Conservatives, so, in an act of appeasement, Mulcair will probably sell out and give his endorsement to CETA.

Wouldn't such an act lead to open revolt and ultimately throwing Mulcair out of the leadership and out of the NDP caucus altogether?

autoworker autoworker's picture

What if it included labour mobility?

ygtbk

autoworker wrote:
What if it included labour mobility?

I was wondering about this too. If CETA includes something like the TN visa under NAFTA, there would be a lot of opportunities for Canadians to work in Europe and vice versa.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Yes lets hold up a big sign that says White People Welcome.

Europe is in the process of beating the shit out of its workers in Greece and Spain and the other periphery countries of the EU. How delusional do you have to be to think that those same people will treat workers and cities in Canada better than they treat their own Europeans.  The opportunities for work are not for most only the 1% and 1% wannabees, no working people need apply.

Adrian Dix has been spoken against CETA especially highlighting the potential cost of the patent rights on prescription drug prices.

autoworker autoworker's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Yes lets hold up a big sign that says White People Welcome.

Europe is in the process of beating the shit out of its workers in Greece and Spain and the other periphery countries of the EU. How delusional do you have to be to think that those same people will treat workers and cities in Canada better than they treat their own Europeans.  The opportunities for work are not for most only the 1% and 1% wannabees, no working people need apply.

Adrian Dix has been spoken against CETA especially highlighting the potential cost of the patent rights on prescription drug prices.

What are you smoking?

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ygtbk wrote:

autoworker wrote:
What if it included labour mobility?

I was wondering about this too. If CETA includes something like the TN visa under NAFTA, there would be a lot of opportunities for Canadians to work in Europe and vice versa.

It would address labour shortages in certain sectors.

Aristotleded24

autoworker wrote:
ygtbk wrote:

autoworker wrote:
What if it included labour mobility?

I was wondering about this too. If CETA includes something like the TN visa under NAFTA, there would be a lot of opportunities for Canadians to work in Europe and vice versa.

It would address labour shortages in certain sectors.

With the unemployment rate as high as it is, there truly is no labour shortage. Any employer who cannot recruit and retain workers in this climate is doing something wrong. Period.

autoworker autoworker's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

autoworker wrote:
ygtbk wrote:

autoworker wrote:
What if it included labour mobility?

I was wondering about this too. If CETA includes something like the TN visa under NAFTA, there would be a lot of opportunities for Canadians to work in Europe and vice versa.

It would address labour shortages in certain sectors.

With the unemployment rate as high as it is, there truly is no labour shortage. Any employer who cannot recruit and retain workers in this climate is doing something wrong. Period.

Many projects are on hold because of a lack of engineers and skilled trades.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

autoworker wrote:

What are you smoking?

Nice insult but then I presume if that is all you have to offer I must be close to the mark.

Tell me would you also like a labour clause in the trade deal with China? How about Honduras or Jordan? I'll bet you have never proposed the same thing for those countries.

autoworker autoworker's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

autoworker wrote:

What are you smoking?

Nice insult but then I presume if that is all you have to offer I must be close to the mark.

Tell me would you also like a labour clause in the trade deal with China? How about Honduras or Jordan? I'll bet you have never proposed the same thing for those countries.

Have you been to Europe lately? It's racially diverse, from what I've seen. I don't know what Honduras, Jordan, and China have to do with CETA, but if there are sufficient, reciprocal benefits to justify a trade deal, why not make a case for them?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Because the only reciprocal benefits in any of these "trade" deals are for corporations.  German bankers will put the screws to Canadian workers just like they are doing to most of Europe. There is nothing in those deals for the people of Canada except grief and more law suits against municipalities and provinces for daring to legislate any kind of regulations that affects corporations.  The idea that there is benefit for the people is fantasy land given the history of every one of these corporate rights agreements that we have signed.

autoworker autoworker's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Because the only reciprocal benefits in any of these "trade" deals are for corporations.  German bankers will put the screws to Canadian workers just like they are doing to most of Europe. There is nothing in those deals for the people of Canada except grief and more law suits against municipalities and provinces for daring to legislate any kind of regulations that affects corporations.  The idea that there is benefit for the people is fantasy land given the history of every one of these corporate rights agreements that we have signed.

CETA isn't about joining the EU, and adopting the €uro. So, I don't think we need to worry about German bogeymen fleecing us bumkins. That said, you're right to be concerned about the lack of transparency in negotiations, and the details of dispute mechanisms. But, in the balance, I believe that its Europeans, being socially more democratic, who need to be concerned about maintaining their standards. Kyoto, for starters.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Sure and Wall Street has nothing to do with NAFTA and its bankers have never sued our communities so there is obviously nothing to fear from their European counterparts.  Undecided

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

CBC: Throne speech: Conservatives will sacrifice 'supply management' for diary farmers (cheese quotas) to get an agreement-in-principle with CETA.

Dairy farmers are meeting to plan a  response.

ygtbk

Boom Boom wrote:

CBC: Throne speech: Conservatives will sacrifice 'supply management' for diary farmers (cheese quotas) to get an agreement-in-principle with CETA.

Dairy farmers are meeting to plan a  response.

As we likely all know, protectionism is all about benefiting producers over consumers. If dairy farmers are upset, I'm happy. Why is the government (currently) telling me who I can buy cheese from?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

So, you don't care if we have a dairy industry here or not? You don't want farmers to have decent incomes? You'd rather sell out to big agri-business?

ygtbk

Boom Boom wrote:

So, you don't care if we have a dairy industry here or not? You don't want farmers to have decent incomes? You'd rather sell out to big agri-business?

I did not say any of that. If Canadian dairy farmers can sell me what I want, good for them. But I have nothing against the Irish.

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Supply management exists outside Canada, you know - and for very good reason. These are vulnerable market segments.

ygtbk

Boom Boom wrote:

Supply management exists outside Canada, you know - and for very good reason. These are vulnerable market segments.

I am not in favour of supply management. YMMV.

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Supply Management is fair to farmers, good for economy: NDP

Conservatives have put Canada’s supply management on the table in trade talks – and now we see some Liberals openly opposing our supply managed sectors, according to NDP International Trade Critic Don Davies.

“New Democrats have a clear and strong policy: Canada’s supply managed sectors provide clear benefits to Canadians and will not be compromised, in trade talks or otherwise”, insisted Davies.

He pointed out that supply management in Canada’s dairy, poultry and egg industries is a tested system for efficient delivery of safe, local food to Canadians. Davies said that, unlike other countries who subsidize their producers, Canada’s supply management policy doesn’t cost taxpayers a cent.

NDP Agriculture Critic Malcolm Allen added his concerns of what any concessions could mean for these important industries. “By putting supply management in the cross hairs of these negotiations, the Conservative government is attacking the livelihood of dairy, poultry and egg farmers right across the country; farmers who expect this government to live up to its word.”

Deputy NDP Agriculture Critic Ruth Ellen Brosseau added that supply-managed products are competitively priced, with Canadian milk costing less than Australia and New Zealand – and in the US taxpayers subsidize milk. “New Democrats will continue to stand up strongly for the dairy, poultry and egg sectors, important industries that employs thousands of people,” said Brosseau.

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ygtbk wrote:

Boom Boom wrote:

Supply management exists outside Canada, you know - and for very good reason. These are vulnerable market segments.

I am not in favour of supply management. YMMV.

Care to explain why?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

CBC: Dairy farmers will respond after the Throne Speech today.

ygtbk

Boom Boom wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

Boom Boom wrote:

Supply management exists outside Canada, you know - and for very good reason. These are vulnerable market segments.

I am not in favour of supply management. YMMV.

Care to explain why?

Sure. Supply management favours protectionist people who can work with politicians to limit the amount of competition that they have to face. While this is clearly a win if you're a protectionist or a politician, it's not so obviously a win for anyone else.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

So do you believe in the Randian myth of the "free market"?  Protectionism protects Canadians and their industries from predatory multinationals. What's not to like in theory?

Aristotleded24

ygtbk wrote:

Boom Boom wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

Boom Boom wrote:

Supply management exists outside Canada, you know - and for very good reason. These are vulnerable market segments.

I am not in favour of supply management. YMMV.

Care to explain why?

Sure. Supply management favours protectionist people who can work with politicians to limit the amount of competition that they have to face. While this is clearly a win if you're a protectionist or a politician, it's not so obviously a win for anyone else.

Price gouging has nothing to do with supply management, it has everything to do with the inter-mediaries between the farmers and the consumers. (Think processing plants, grocery stores, etc.) If you have a little time, why don't you check out a few grocery stores and see how many brands of milk are available between all of them.

ygtbk

kropotkin1951 wrote:

So do you believe in the Randian myth of the "free market"?

What? Ayn Rand invented Adam Smith? She's sure getting a lot of use out of that time machine...

 

ygtbk

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Price gouging has nothing to do with supply management, it has everything to do with the inter-mediaries between the farmers and the consumers.

If this is true, please explain to me the purpose of restricting supply (which of course is what supply management is).

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Because if you don't manage supply then there is a brief period of oversupply and dropping prices followed by a slew of bankruptcies. The deep pocketed corporations then can ride out the short term pain and come back with higher prices once they control the market. I prefer managed trade and a regulated economy to yahoo capitalism.

The question in Adam Smith terms is which system is more likely to produce a monopoly and thus cause the highest prices in the long term.  IMO a properly managed system never becomes a monopoly unlike unregulated markets that all tend towards monopoly as the biggest try to increase their market share to the point that they can control the price.

Rand's view of the free market is a myth, Adam Smith's was a theory with some merit but like all theories it has many major shortcomings.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Good for Mulcair - he gave a media scrum at noon and said if Harper is throwing dairy farmers under the bus, he will a big fight on his hands.

ygtbk

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Because if you don't manage supply then there is a brief period of oversupply and dropping prices followed by a slew of bankruptcies. The deep pocketed corporations then can ride out the short term pain and come back with higher prices once they control the market. I prefer managed trade and a regulated economy to yahoo capitalism.

The question in Adam Smith terms is which system is more likely to produce a monopoly and thus cause the highest prices in the long term.  IMO a properly managed system never becomes a monopoly unlike unregulated markets that all tend towards monopoly as the biggest try to increase their market share to the point that they can control the price.

Rand's view of the free market is a myth, Adam Smith's was a theory with some merit but like all theories it has many major shortcomings.

And so the reason that we have both a Competition Bureau and supply management is...? We were in deadly danger of importing too much foreign cheese? See:

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/10/16/conservatives-open-door-to-free-trade-with-eu-after-reaching-cheese-import-deal/

Your argument confuses monopoly status (which I agree is bad) with protectionism (keeping foreign products out). These are two different things.

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CBC Newsworld at noon today: EU quotas on cheese allowed into the Canadian market may more than double, may even triple - if it's cheaper than Canadian cheese, it effectively puts Canadian dairy  farmers out of work.

ygtbk
Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

That's what I've been reporting. In addition, today Mulcair said "There's no such thing as a tentative deal - you either have a deal, or you don't".

ygtbk

Putting the Post and CBC stories together is instructive. In one, we have:

Quote:

Currently, more than 90% of the 408,000 tonnes of cheese sold in this country is made here.

In the other we have

Quote:

Industry sources confirm to CBC News that Canada has agreed to raise cheese import quotas to 37,000 tonnes from 20,000, and to increase Europe's share of that to 30,000 tonnes from 13,000.

So Europe will still have less than 10% of the market. THIS was a key point in the deal???

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From that National Pest link:

"...Trade sources said Quebec or any of the other provinces could yet blow up the deal but they are optimistic. “Once the agreement-in-principle is reached, that will be the true breakthrough,” one said."

So there's still hope. Undecided

josh

As expected, the agreement-in-principle announced Friday in Brussels contains concessions from Canada in areas including cheese imports and extended drug patents for brand-name drug manufacturers. The deal will also permit large increases in Canadian beef and pork exports to Europe and eliminates a wide range of tariffs. However, new details were announced Friday on how the deal will address the thorny issue of how Ontario’s manufacturing sector is deeply linked with U.S. production lines.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-business/canadas-auto-industry-faces-sweeping-change-with-europe-trade-deal/article14925024/

MegB

Boom Boom wrote:

From that National Pest link:

"...Trade sources said Quebec or any of the other provinces could yet blow up the deal but they are optimistic. “Once the agreement-in-principle is reached, that will be the true breakthrough,” one said."

So there's still hope. Undecided

I'm told there is a two-year window between now and ratification by all provinces. I don't see Quebec going for it, not by a long shot.

ygtbk
kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The drug cartels will win big and might finally get to totally bankrupt our health care system.

ygtbk

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The drug cartels will win big and might finally get to totally bankrupt our health care system.

[Citation needed]

josh

"The Canada agreement should provide a boost for EU trade chief Karel De Gucht and could serve as a template for U.S. talks because both deals seek to go far beyond tariff reduction and to reduce transatlantic barriers to business"

Reduce "barriers to business"? Duh. That's what all these deals do. And translation: eliminates social and economic laws businesses don't like.

ygtbk

josh wrote:

Reduce "barriers to business"? Duh. That's what all these deals do. And translation: eliminates social and economic laws businesses don't like.

If by that you mean government barriers to doing business, you could just say so.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

ygtbk wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The drug cartels will win big and might finally get to totally bankrupt our health care system.

[Citation needed]

This is what I am talking about. Seems to me that there is only one taxpayer.

Quote:

In an important concession, Canada is extending patent protection on pharmaceuticals for two years, which is estimated to drive up the cost of prescription drugs to consumers and governments by up $3 billion annually. Ottawa says it’s willing to compensate the provinces for any additional costs.

 

josh

Yawn. The RepubliCon corner is heard from.

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