Negotiators from 12 Pacific Rim countries meet in secret in Vancouver over the weekend of June 15 -- 17th to set new investment rules within the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). No announcement of this "intersessional" on investment has been made to the public or the media. People in Canada first learned about this TPP 'mini' negotiation from an article in the Peruvian media Friday. For more on the Vancouver meetings, check out this article by Stuart Trew.
With Prime Minister Harper making the diplomatic rounds in Europe, media interest has heightened this week regarding the potential free trade agreement which his government is trying to negotiate with the European Union. Several deadlines to reach that deal have come and gone, but the Conservatives are still heavily committed to reaching a deal as a centrepiece of their economic strategy. The more politically desperate they become to reach a deal, the greater the likelihood of damaging concessions (in areas like foreign takeovers, drug patents, and others).
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.