Tuesday, 22 October 2013

CETA deal not all positives — CBC radio interview

**Listen to Marilyn Reid of Citizens Against CETA being interviewed on CBC Central Morning Show.

What’s Wrong with CETA?

CETA undermines our rights as citizens

1. Loss of Sovereignty: CETA will restrict the right of elected governments at all levels to introduce regulations in the interest of the public if they violate any of the rules laid out in the agreement. This makes it difficult for governments to react to unforeseen crises or environmental hazards. 

2. The Corporate Hijacking of the Law: The Investor Rights chapter of CETA will allow European corporations to bypass the respected Canadian court system in favour of offshore tribunals over which we have no control. “Profiting From Injustice,” A 2012 report by Corporate Europe Observatory details the rampant conflict of interest and corporate bias of these tribunals. 

3. A Biased Negotiating Process: Over the four-year negotiating period, no discussion took place between the public and governments around CETA issues in spite of repeated requests. But lobbyists for over 600 global corporations were privy to, and helped shape, the negotiations.  

CETA has been designed to increase the power and profits of corporations 

1. Loss of Jobs. Independent studies indicate that the 2008 computer model used by the federal government to predict future employment in a post-CETA world is seriously flawed and certainly out-dated. The 2010 Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives study (itself out-dated given the deteriorating economic situation in Europe) indicates Canadian job losses of 30,000 to 150,000 (depending on currency values), mostly in the manufacturing or processing sector.

2. Increased corporate access to public spending: Expect increased access by European corporations to public spending right down to the level of municipalities and school boards. Water and waste- water management may be particularly at risk of being partially privatized given the federal government’s enthusiasm for linking municipal funding to P3s. P3s disadvantage local businesses that don't have adequate investment capital. 

3. The illusory benefits of increased investments and increased exports: Most Canadians don’t know that 90% of American investments in Canada in the first 10 years after NAFTA did not create new businesses. They were for “takeovers” of existing businesses (often followed by downsizing and precarious employment). Or that when farm exports increased by 300% post-NAFTA, the benefits went to foreign corporations. Farm debt actually increased by 300%. Without knowledge of the details of CETA, how do we calculate the real costs and benefits to our economy?

Many of us feel that there is a creeping and silent power shift going on. It’s leading away from sovereign nation states and democracy and shifting towards corporate empire. Trade agreements like CETA are one of the most effective tools global corporations have to facilitate this shift.