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Photo: somecanuckchick/Flickr
| March 20, 2013

TPP: What you need to know about this 'super-sized' trade deal


A 16th round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations is underway in Singapore. Canada and Mexico join the nine other TPP countries for the second time since the U.S. government invited its NAFTA partners to join late last year. 

The TPP is a super-sized trade deal-expanding on so called "next generation" trade and investment deals that NAFTA countries have pursued in the wake of the stalemate at the World Trade Organization. This pluri-lateral agreement poses serious new threats to North American communities -- threats that a tri-national movement of trade justice activists is preparing to fight in the lead-up to a possible July TPP negotiating round in Canada. 


| February 20, 2013

A note to Thomas Mulcair: 'Friends don't let friends sign free trade agreements'

Dear Thomas Mulcair,

Friends don't let friends drive drunk. We value the lives of our friends and of others they might harm or kill in their stupor. Similarly, friends don't let friends sign free trade deals. We value our people, our society, our economy and the global environment we all depend on for our collective well being.

'Free trade' has never been free.  It has always come with disproportionate costs and benefits, pursued by and for the benefit of the 1% at the expense of the 99%.


Open letter to Thomas Mulcair: Maintain NDP's opposition to 'trade' deals like CETA

2011 Halifax protest against CETA. (Photo:

I want to add my name to those who have written to you expressing our concern about the possibility that the NDP might endorse the CETA agreement.

This agreement is primarily about limiting the public policy options of government. It is not fundamentally about lowering tariff barriers as these are already quite low. Rather it is about enhancing investor rights. It is also about further entrenching the intellectual property regime that has led to such major increases in Canada's pharmaceutical prices since Brian Mulroney abolished compulsory licensing in 1987 and 1992 with Bills C22 and C91. 


| February 14, 2013
| February 12, 2013

Trade agreement between Canada and China a corporate rights pact

November 22, 2012
| The free trade agreement with China suffers from many of the same faults as NAFTA. Chinese companies will be able to sue Canada for millions if their business is affected by environmental laws.
Length: 15:57 minutes (14.61 MB)

Deluding Canadians about 'trade' deals


The Harper government thinks negotiating and signing various deals with all kinds of countries shows it is fulfilling its economic mandate. Nothing could be further from the truth. What are erroneously described as trade agreements or, worse -- free trade agreements -- end up limiting Canada’s ability to develop and create products and services for Canadians that people in other countries might use as well.

If you want to trade, you need a product or service, a market, and money to put the deal together. All the commercial agreements in the world are no substitute for having something other people want enough to buy. 


Note to NDP: Where are you going?

A couple of polls showing the NDP losing support to the Liberals pose some pretty fundamental questions for the party and its small 'l' liberal leader Thomas Mulcair.

Does the party follow the narrow political path of the two big business parties or does it reinvent itself as a movement party and tap into the deep dissatisfaction of Canadians about the state of politics and governance in this country?

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