TPP: any agreement made in secret is suspect

Now that the election is over it is up to the voters to hold those elected to their promises.

Now that the election is over it is up to the voters to hold those elected to their promises. Two of the first things on the agenda are the Trans-Pacific Partnership and The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. The TPP is being pushed by countries and corporations to be ratified as soon as possible.

We need a public debate on the TPP before any agreement is signed. It is insulting to citizens to do otherwise. “Trust me — I know what’s good for you” does not work.

This agreement was negotiated in secret by the Harper government and has only just been released. It is 6,000 pages long in text that ordinary citizens can’t possibly understand. I doubt very much that the members of parliament who need to ratify this agreement can understand it in just a few months without a lot of consultation.

Any agreement made in secrecy is suspect — especially one that you are urged to sign in a hurry. Will we be giving up our sovereignty for the benefit of international or foreign corporations? Will we be able to put environmental, climate change, or regulations in place without being sued for possible loss or even lower expectation of profits? Corporations do not have the benefits of citizens of any country as their mandate.

Many promises were made in the campaign — affordable daycare, funds for infrastructure, improved health care. Billions of dollars have been promised for infrastructure. If the TPP is signed will the contracts for this be going to foreign corporations?

No country is so self-sufficient that it does not need to have trade. We may have to give up some benefits to obtain others but these should be in the best interests of all people, not corporations. It seems the sacrifices are always by the people — in all countries — and the benefits mostly to the corporations.

Once these trade agreements are signed we are stuck with them for a long time. Act now.

 

Trudy Thorgeirson

 

Duncan