Three More Reasons Why We Need to Stop CETA
Three More Reasons Why We Need to Stop CETA
Illustration by Jacob V Joyce
By Nick Dearden / newint.org

Last week I joined activists and campaigners from across the globe who came to Canada for the World Social Forum. A major topic of discussion was the problems with TTIP-style free trade agreements and how we can stop them.

For us in Europe the big one is now CETA – the Canada-EU trade deal (formally the Comprehensive Economic & Trade Agreement) which could become law as early as next year. Unless we stop it.

Our allies from across Europe and Canada gave some strong reasons for us to get more active on CETA.

1. CETA really is TTIP by the backdoor.

Many US corporations now operate in Canada because the two economies have been heavily integrated since the signing of another big trade deal 20 years ago, NAFTA. The infamous corporate court system – which allows foreign corporations to sue governments for pretty much anything they don’t like – is in CETA just as it’s in TTIP. It’s a somewhat reformed version in CETA, but not reformed enough to stop any of the cases we don’t like such as countries being sued for protecting the environment, introducing social protection in regulation etc.

So if CETA comes into effect, hundreds of US-based corporations will be able to sue theUK, through Canada, whether we have TTIP or not. And let’s not pretend Canadian multinationals haven’t aggressively used these corporate courts too!!

2. Canada’s law could threaten our own protections.

CETA has less resonance on the streets than TTIP – perhaps because Canada doesn’t seem as ‘big and bad’ as the US economy. But Canada has some terrible regulations which are a real threat to our laws. For instance, Canada is the third largest producer of genetically modified products in the world. They’ve just invented a genetically modified salmon, we were told, which wouldn’t require any special labelling. They also have terrible animal welfare conditions.

If British farmers have to compete against big agribusiness using these techniques, they either face going bust or we lower our own standards in a regulatory race to the bottom.

3. Our negotiators said ‘yes’ to tar sands so they could rip open Canadian local government.

It seems pretty clear now that the deal on CETA was made something like this: First, Europe would drop its objections to the dirtiest fossil fuel on the planet – tar sands oil, which is turning vast swathes of Canada into a devastated moonscape. This has happened already. In return, European big business would get access to Canada’s huge local procurement market. Canada still has strong public services and protections which allows local authorities to use their purchasing power to support, for instance, local farmers and local businesses selling to schools and hospitals. But that could be over with CETA. No wonder dozens of local government bodies have asked the Canadian government to be exempted from the deal.

This links to another worry for Canadians, which could affect their small farmers. Canada uses government purchases of farm produce to give farmers price stability. Canadians fear this will be challenged by CETA as an unfair form of protection, throwing farmers even further onto the mercy of the ‘free’ market.

So what we see with CETA, it seems, is European and Canadian governments risking environmental and social protections in order to bat for their own big business interests on both sides of the Atlantic. As we always thought.

If our governments want to protect the interests of their corporations, it’s for the people of Europe and Canada to stand up for their own interests – and make sure this awful deal never becomes law.


A version of this blog was originally posted at Global Justice Now. Their CETA briefing can be found here.

0.0 ·
0
What's Next
Trending Today
Dakota Access Pipeline Permit Denied
Nika Knight · 15,016 views today · 'For the first time in Native American history, they heard our voices.'
All the News Is Fake!
3 min · 10,330 views today · Jonathan Pie finds nothing new in the idea of fake news.
How Romanticism Ruined Love
5 min · 8,890 views today · The set of ideas we can call Romanticism is responsible for making our relationships extremely difficult. We shouldn’t give up on love; we should just recognize that it’s more...
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 6,203 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
After Historic Protests, Army Corps of Engineers Blocks Current Route of the Dakota Access Pipeline
3 min · 3,172 views today · The $4 billion dollar project could still be approved by President-elect Donald Trump who is heavily invested in the pipeline. Help support The Real News by making a donation...
The Numbers That Tell the Story of the Standing Rock Sioux's Victory
Tracy Loeffelholz Dunn · 2,701 views today · The Army Corps announced Sunday that the Dakota Access pipeline will be rerouted. Here are the numbers that show what lies ahead.
Post-Brexit Visions of The Possible: It's Time to Imagine a New European Community
Martin Winiecki · 2,443 views today · We live in the beginning phase of a global revolution which will turn societal conditions upside down. We cannot stop this transformation, but we can influence where it will...
Bikini Was Just the Beginning, Bombs Still Threaten the Islanders
John Pilger · 2,417 views today · I was recently in the Marshall Islands, which lie in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, north of Australia and south of Hawaii. Whenever I tell people where I have been, they...
This is an Anthem for Our Times
6 min · 2,119 views today · I think the world deserves to see the truth about #NoDAPL I tried my best to portray what I felt at camp, I felt LOVE. Love for all people, all living things, Mother Earth...
93 Documentaries to Expand Your Consciousness
Films For Action · 2,109 views today · There are over 800 documentaries now cataloged in our library of social change films. That's probably way too many for any mortal to ever watch in a lifetime, let alone a few...
Lifting the Veil:  Obama and the Failure of Capitalist Democracy (2011)
114 min · 2,026 views today · This film explores the historical role of the Democratic Party as the "graveyard of social movements", the massive influence of corporate finance in elections, the absurd...
United Natures: a United Nations of all Species (2013)
103 min · 1,869 views today · United Natures explores the Rights of Mother Earth, Environmental Philosophy, Wisdom, Spirituality and the potential for a Neo-indigenous future for humanity. Directed and...
The Venus Project by Jacque Fresco
4 min · 1,462 views today · For more information visit the official web site: thevenusproject.com Facebook: facebook.com/TheVenusProjectGlobal Music: Salomon Ligthelm - Close Horizonz Hanz Zimmer ...
10 Practical Tools for Building a Resilient Local Economy
Environmental Change Makers · 1,455 views today · The economy is changing. Dramatically. Coping with these changes means changing the way we do things. The path of the future involves root level, radical changes. Things we...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,304 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Austrialian Government Promotes Crap with Adani Carmichael Coal Mine
2 min · 1,098 views today · The Australian Government just released this advert about the proposed Carmichael Coal Mine and it's surprisingly honest and informative. 6 WAYS YOU CAN HELP STOP CCRAP: 1...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 930 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 900 views today · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to...
Why Are Media Outlets Still Citing Discredited 'Fake News' Blacklist?
Adam Johnson · 610 views today · The Washington Post (11/24/16) last week published a front-page blockbuster that quickly went viral: Russia-promoted “fake news” had infiltrated the newsfeeds of 213 million...
The Fight for Clean Water (#NoDAPL)
2 min · 566 views today · Clean water or Corporate profits? What’s more important? #NoDAPL Energy Transfer Partners: (214) 981-0700 U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers: (202) 761-0010; (202)...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Three More Reasons Why We Need to Stop CETA