TTP: a dagger aimed at us and at Canadian sovereignty

Frank Touby — 

A hideous gorilla lurks in the 1,000+ of pages of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Few are mentioning this, but signing on to the TTP is akin to treason.Frank Touby Editor deareditor@thebulletin.caWhile we are being sold an outright lie that our lives will be so much better as part of a “free” trade deal with low-wage and slave-labour nations, the TPP would likely mean the end of Canada’s sovereignty.

Here’s how it really works:
A select group of mostly foreign corporate lawyers would serve as supreme court, forcing TPP members to obey their rulings which will follow a simple guideline: It is prohibited for any TPP nation to interfere with the supreme right of transnational corporations to profit from any scheme to make a buck. It doesn’t matter if Canada has laws or policies against a certain commercial activity—like, say, a private prison system—taxpayers would have to replace the denied profits a foreign corporation might have made if it had been able to operate prisons for profit.

You can be sure reprehensible outfits like Corrections Corporation of America would be on Canada’s case superfast, demanding we enable them to operate here or pay the profits they might have made.

They will want to buy our government-owned prisons as they do in the U.S. (Ontario’s privatizer Premier Kathleen Wynne would likely jump through hoopskirts to do that.) They then extract agreement that provincial or federal governments will convict enough poor souls to fill 90% of the cells, and then use those inmates by selling their labour and various skills at pennies per hour to outside corporations. So Canada’s judges would have an imperative to convict and sentence more poor souls to confinement and slave labour.

That’s just one horrid example of TPP’s threat to Canada and our sovereign right to run our nation in the public interest. All sorts of corporate villains and exploitive industries will dominate our lives and impoverish us. Just as NAFTA has saddled us with lawsuits from foreign corporations and hefty payouts to them, TPP would create even more opportunities for them to cost taxpayers millions and perhaps billions of dollars. NAFTA has already cost us $160 million in penalty payouts to foreign corporations.

The pharmaceutical industry would exploit TPP-extended patent durations on possible life-saving drugs, markedly increasing prices and further taxing our medical care system. Big Pharma is such a super-profitable oligopoly that it dominates the ultra-expensive advertising space on every national U.S. newscast: “Ask your doctor if PoyzinPill would help you.”

The main TPP beneficiaries would be the world’s superrich 1% and their corporate cloaks.
When Canada’s Foreign Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland signed the initial TPP document, she made it clear that Canada wasn’t signing the treaty, which would have to come later, if at all. So there is time.
She must have had lumps in her throat nonetheless. When you consider that former journalist Freeland in 2013 published her landmark book titled, Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else, you can imagine how she must personally feel about TPP.

Like NAFTA, which wrecked Canada’s manufacturing industries, TPP would shred what economic coattails we have left.
It must not pass.

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One comment

  1. The Trans -Pacific Partnership has devastating potential in terms of our environment and our democracy. It gives big business and industry powers equal to or greater than that of our elected officials. The people of Canada didn’t vote for international big business, we voted for elected representation. It would dimish our nation’s sovereignty and allow other nations to set our standards and pricing. International trade is a great idea but not at the cost of our nation and democracy.
    Trudeau must stand by his election promise and allow public consulation on this deal. This is a deal that will directly affect many Canadians and we need to be heard.

    Barbara Rose

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