The PEI provincial government needs to lobby the Canadian Federal government to ensure that the right to purchase locally is not superseded by national trade agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA).
“TPP raises the minimum global IP standards agreed by the World Trade Organization by extending and enforcing the U.S. IP regime and interests to all TPP countries. Make no mistake about it: This is not your father’s trade agreement. TPP clearly demarks the shift in global value creation from tangible to intangible goods by providing unprecedented advantages to current large holders and producers of IP.
Canada does not have the arsenal of valuable IP to benefit financially from such provisions. The Intellectual Property Owners Association’s most recent ranking of “Top 300 Organizations Granted U.S. Patents” lists BlackBerry as the only Canadian entry. In their “Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents,” the University of British Columbia was the only Canadian university, listed at 78th place with 29 patents granted (compared with the University of California’s 453).“
“[…] Understanding the difference between an investor state agreement and a trade deal is critical. Note that the Investor-State agreements have a number of acronym descriptors – ISDS, FIPAs, Investor-State. This alphabet soup may not have intentionally further disguised this stealth attack on national sovereignty, but disguised it unquestionably is. […] It is time to shine a light on these investor-state agreements. It is time for a multi-lateral review and re-negotiation of the lot of them to an agreed upon international template to fairly protect investors without undermining national sovereignty, as well as domestic health, labour and environmental laws.“
“Yes, there will be costs. But on average, we can expect TPP trade liberalization to deliver higher productivity, higher GDP, and higher incomes to Canadians […] It won’t lead to the privatization of crown corporations like Canada Post or Via Rail. It won’t undermine the ability of the Canadian government to subsidize Canadian cultural industries. In fact, the CBC and Telefilm Canada are specifically exempt from the provisions governing State-Owned Enterprises. The TPP also won’t constrain governments from tackling environmental challenges. […] The TPP will lower tariffs as well as lower non-tariff technical barriers almost across the board. […] Consumers are the big winners here. All too often we focus on lower tariffs for Canadian producers when they export abroad. But we must not forget that lower import tariffs mean lower prices for all of us on the goods and services that we buy. Lower prices means our incomes can go further and our standards of living increase.“
The Spinoff (New Zealand) – 20 Perspectives on the TPP – “The deal struck in Atlanta, Georgia, includes the United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Australia, Singapore, Brunei, Chile, Vietnam, Malaysia and New Zealand, which together account for roughly 40% of global GDP.”
“There is always some loss of sovereignty in a free trade deal, but only in the sense that a nation’s ability to protect a domestic industry from outside competition is reduced. Some argue free trade’s threat to sovereignty is much worse because the ability to erect trade barriers around national strategic interests and the public good becomes weaker. Hence the idea that only the people in the top tier benefit from free trade.
But the evidence so far is that the bulk of the TPP is about reducing tariffs and not eliminating laws and regulations. Concessions with a policy aim, like supply management in the dairy sector, are arguably ineffective. Canada doesn’t suffer from cheese shortages and dairy farming, though difficult, isn’t unprofitable.“
From Carl Pursey – PEI Federation of Labour
“8. Have provinces forever surrendered the ability to use government purchasing to support local economic development?
One of the EU’s top priorities was to gain unconditional access for European companies to provincial and municipal government procurement, which was not covered under Canada’s earlier trade agreements. The EU demands appear to have been largely met. Many countries around the world, including the U.S., use procurement as an economic development tool. In Canada, purchasing by provincial crown corporations such as Hydro Quebec has been a positive force for regional economic development. Furthermore, local governments deliver many essential public services including waste, water, electricity and public transit. Unless safeguards are ironclad, the CETA could lock in privatization. It is one thing for our current federal and provincial governments to disagree with such policies. But it is quite another to make them illegal for all future governments who might wish to give priority to local food, locally controlled renewable energy, or locally provided public services.
9. Are Canadian dairy farmers and cheesemakers being thrown under the bus?
The CETA will double the quota of European cheese entering Canada, seriously eroding the supply-managed system which all federal political parties have pledged to preserve. This system matches supply to domestic demand while ensuring fair prices for consumers and a reasonable return for primary producers. It depends on strictly limiting imports and dairy farmers rightly see this concession to the EU as a broken trust and the beginning of the end of supply management.
– See more at: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/commentary/ten-questions-about-ceta#sthash.KddV64aC.dpuf”