Chrystia Freeland set for free trade talks with China

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NDPP
Chrystia Freeland set for free trade talks with China

Chrystia Freeland Set For Trade Talks With China

http://www.china.ca/news/politics/freeland-china-free-trade-talks-1.3906933

"International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland says she's tentatively booked to have her first face-to-face discussion with China in February as Canada explores a free-trade agreement with the country..."

Yikes!

NDPP
bekayne

So...China trades with Russia: Good China! China trades with Canada: Bad China!

voice of the damned

bekayne wrote:

So...China trades with Russia: Good China! China trades with Canada: Bad China!

Not to mention that, for decades, the Canadian left has been saying that we need to look for other trading partners besides the Americans, get out from under Uncle Sam's thumb, etc.

But now that we ARE finding other sources of trade, it's suddenly a bad thing?

 

swallow

Free trade with China? Almost certainly a bad thing.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Trade is generally a good thing and the country we trade with makes little difference. Not so much corporate rights agreements and that means with any country. 

NDPP

Yes, this is not intended to be a thread about China-bashing. Trade with China is a reality. 'FREE' Trade with China will almost certainly be a disaster for ordinary Canadians and Chinese.

swallow

Almost certainly.

Unionist

NDPP wrote:

Yes, this is not intended to be a thread about China-bashing. Trade with China is a reality. 'FREE' Trade with China will almost certainly be a disaster for ordinary Canadians and Chinese.

You got that right.

6079_Smith_W

Holy fuck. Is there actually something we all agree on?

 

Unionist

voice of the damned wrote:

Not to mention that, for decades, the Canadian left has been saying that we need to look for other trading partners besides the Americans, get out from under Uncle Sam's thumb, etc.

What is this mysterious "left" you are hypothesizing?

My "left" - the workers' movement - has been staunchly opposing trade deals with Europe, China, the U.S., the Pacific Rim countries, anywhere, which benefit capital and disadvantage workers and limit Canadian sovereignty.

But very interesting that you and bekayne would frame this in terms of "for or against Russia". I'm going back to watching Trumbo, to try to understand this phenomenon.

 

6079_Smith_W

This just popped up on my facebook feed this morning:

voice of the damned

Unionist wrote:

voice of the damned wrote:

Not to mention that, for decades, the Canadian left has been saying that we need to look for other trading partners besides the Americans, get out from under Uncle Sam's thumb, etc.

What is this mysterious "left" you are hypothesizing?

My "left" - the workers' movement - has been staunchly opposing trade deals with Europe, China, the U.S., the Pacific Rim countries, anywhere, which benefit capital and disadvantage workers and limit Canadian sovereignty.

But very interesting that you and bekayne would frame this in terms of "for or against Russia". I'm going back to watching Trumbo, to try to understand this phenomenon.

 

Unlike the people portrayed in that movie, I am not for or against any country. I'm just saying there seems to be a contradiction between saying you want more trade with countries other than the US, but then complaining every time Canada seeks a trade agreement with a country other than the US.

I take the point about a "free" trade deal being different than a regular trade deal, although the CBC article didn't mention any specifics as to what this proposed deal would entail. Is "free trade" a specific enough term that we know exactly in what way this deal will impact Canada?

jjuares

voice of the damned wrote:

Unionist wrote:

voice of the damned wrote:

Not to mention that, for decades, the Canadian left has been saying that we need to look for other trading partners besides the Americans, get out from under Uncle Sam's thumb, etc.

What is this mysterious "left" you are hypothesizing?

My "left" - the workers' movement - has been staunchly opposing trade deals with Europe, China, the U.S., the Pacific Rim countries, anywhere, which benefit capital and disadvantage workers and limit Canadian sovereignty.

But very interesting that you and bekayne would frame this in terms of "for or against Russia". I'm going back to watching Trumbo, to try to understand this phenomenon.

 

Unlike the people portrayed in that movie, I am not for or against any country. I'm just saying there seems to be a contradiction between saying you want more trade with countries other than the US, but then complaining every time Canada seeks a trade agreement with a country other than the US.

I take the point about a "free" trade deal being different than a regular trade deal, although the CBC article didn't mention any specifics as to what this proposed deal would entail. Is "free trade" a specific enough term that we know exactly in what way this deal will impact Canada?


Well, yeah we do have a pretty good idea of what might be in this deal. Like all the other deals recently signed they have investor rights clauses. They allow corporations and potential investors to sue the Canadian government for all manner of things. The obvious other problem with signing a deal with China is that they don't have the same worker and environmental safeguards we do nor do they pay their workers at the same rate.This will undoubtedly create a downward pressure on wages. That will not only be bad for the workers involved but for our nation in general.

Misfit

And let us not forget that before all these international trade deals were negotiated, Canada had traded with other nations for over 100 years without issue. Canada is signing away its own environmental protection, worker rights, and control over its own economy with these deals. It's such a travesty. We are signing away our own sovereignty to large corporate interests. Criticizing an international agreement and its content has nothing to do with being against trade. The key issue is responsible trade, and these agreements fall well short.

NDPP

This article from a couple of years ago may be helpful:

Canada Ratifies Investment Deal With China Despite Misgivings

http://ctvnews.ca/business/canada-ratifies-investment-deal-with-china-de...

One may safely assume an FTA with China would integrate, deepen and extend these FIPA features.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

You don't need a free trade deal to have trade. We had trade with the US before NAFTA. Because of geography we will always have the US as our largest trading partner. 

Now if the concern is labour standards and rights then the governments involved should fire all the corporate lawyers and ignore the lobbyists and bring together labour lawyers and indigenous rights lawyers and human rights lawyers and draft trade agreements that give people the right to rip back the corporate veil and go after the oligarchies amassed wealth if they cause environmental damage.  

Free trade is not about trade and it is not the vehicle to discuss labour rights.

NDPP

Canada-China FTA Talks Could Have Massive Implications For Water Use   -  by Brent Patterson

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/brent-patterson/2017/01/canada-china-fta...

"A free trade agreement with China would likely include an 'investment protection' provision that would make it that much harder to subsequently constrain the growth of the tar sands or to reject new pipelines.

The Globe and Mail has noted, 'China wishes to forge a historic free-trade deal with Canada, but a senior Chinese official said this will require Canadian concessions on investment restrictions [notably in the oil and gas sector] and a commitment to build an energy pipeline to the coast.'

Canada could also be promoted as a country ready for China's water-intensive industries..."

Mobo2000

"Free trade is not about trade and it is not the vehicle to discuss labour rights."

Yes, absolutely, and its not about freedom either.

We already have temporary foreign workers in BC from China, without any sort of "free trade" with China.   The bad outcomes from free trade deals can happen without a free trade agreement, but with an agreement they get accelerated.

I liked the Fair trade vs Free Trade language the left used in the 80's onwards, but I don't see it as much now.

NDPP

Any such Free Trade negotiations with China will be conducted with sensitivity to relevent and overarching US policy priorities. I have no doubt Freeland is up to that task given her demonstrated fealty to Atlanticist elite management agendas etc.

 

Trump  Appoints 'Death By China' Author Peter Navarro To Head Trade Office, Hints at Trade War With Beijing

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-21/trump-appoints-death-china-auth...

"The author of books such as 'Death by China' and 'Crouching Tiger: What China's Militarism Means for the World' has for years warned that the US is engaged in an economic war with China and should adopt a more aggressive stance..."

NDPP

Liberals Try To Assuage Fears Ahead of Possible Free Trade Deal With China, Documents Show

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/liberal-consultation-free-trade-china-1....

"Canada's Liberal government is reaching out to calm fearss about a potential free trade deal with China as it continues exploratory talks with the Asian superpower, documents show. The documents, provided by Global Affairs Canada after an Access to Information request, show the government is confronting long-standing concerns from business and other stakeholders, including issues relating to intellectual property rights, transparency, the bulk sale of water and human rights..."

There's nothing free about 'Free Trade.'

contrarianna

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Trade is generally a good thing and the country we trade with makes little difference. Not so much corporate rights agreements and that means with any country. 

Right.

Confusing deliberately misnamed "trade agreements" NAFTA, TPP FIPA, etc, with what trade agreements once meant is a standard mistake. 

What these "trade" arrangements actually mean in the pervasive neoliberal world is even greater devolvement of public interest into the hands of corporate priviledge and power. That corporate privilige and power in China are integrated with its government is not an improvement.

It's a little romantic to talk about what is best for "Canada" as if it was an independent entity comprized of citizens. The arragements made by Harper and Trudeau (the current smiley-faced governor for the Canuck Economic Zone) 

As for the "Canadian" oil patch (which is majority owned by foriegn interests) expect corpoarate decisions to be guaranteed by threat of lawsuits:

Trudeau pushes tar sands exports through Kinder Morgan pipeline and Canada-China FTA
July 14, 2017

....
A Canada-China FTA would very likely include the controversial 'investment protection' provision that would strengthen a similar provision in the Canada-China Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (FIPA). And like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) this provides a disciplinary tool that inhibits governments from taking meaningful action to address climate change such as limiting damaging investments in the fossil fuel industry, prioritizing water for drinking and community use rather than for extractive industries, or respecting the Indigenous right to free, prior and informed consent for projects on their territories....

https://canadians.org/blog/trudeau-pushes-tar-sands-exports-through-kind...