Analysis of CETA

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josh

Not in a Canadian court.  It can go through the WTO dispute resolution process.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

josh wrote:

Not in a Canadian court.  It can go through the WTO dispute resolution process.

There shouldn't be a WTO dispute resolution process. I don't recall voting for the WTO to decide what my elected representatives can and cannot do. These trade agreements are about corporate rights, not the rights of ordinary people.

MegB

kropotkin1951 wrote:

If it makes you feel better I would have written yes Daddy to Catchfire. Why is SDM allowed to repeatedly call me a liar and this is the only response you have despite my request for intervention?

I have edited the above given your interpretation of it.

I'm not going to waste time and energy rising to your bait, but suffice it to say, you're digging yourself ever deeper. I would advise you, once again, to stop derailing the thread with personal attacks.

ygtbk

josh wrote:

Not in a Canadian court.  It can go through the WTO dispute resolution process.

Interestingly enough, it can't, since the WTO dispute resolution process is country-to-country. But I'm happy to see that you think it should have some remedy.

autoworker autoworker's picture

If globalization and climate change cannot be stopped, how might Canada adapt in the interests of all the species within it?

kropotkin1951

I just lost a post about the scenario presented at #100. So here it goes again.

Canada has many tort actions that might be applicable in the scenario. A top notch corporate tort lawyer with a client with deep pockets would have no trouble getting this in front of a Judge in a Canadian court.  Then again the scenario might indicate that it is arbitrary and then it would come under the Roncarelli analysis.

Quote:

Roncarelli v. Duplessis, [1959] S.C.R. 121, was a landmark constitutional decision of the Supreme Court of Canada where the Court held that Maurice Duplessis, the premier of Quebec, had overstepped his authority by revoking the liquor licence of a Jehovah's Witness. Justice Rand wrote in his often-quoted reasons that the unwritten constitutional principle of the "rule of law" meant no public official was above the law, that is, they could neither suspend it or dispense it. Though he had the authority to do this by the law granting him the discretion, he overstepped the reasons why he held this. It is held as an example of a ruling showing a need for rules governing the granting of authority.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roncarelli_v._Duplessis

ygtbk

Thanks, kropotkin1951, for analyzing the hypothetical situation in #100.

socialdemocrati...

Again, it's not as though people here are against trade, let alone people would let the government just make up the rules as they go along and leave companies with absolutely no recourse. But the idea that companies have no recourse in the ordinary legal system is bullshit. They do. The problem is very much the current implementation of so-called "free" trade agreements, and the fine print that corporate lobbyists put in there. There are deep flaws in NAFTA (and more than likely, CETA), and neoliberals are very good at re-framing the argument. (Mainly due to a media culture that's very friendly to big business, and entrenched myths about "the left".) It's not fair, but critics need to be that much more disciplined and really keep their eye on the ball.

Aristotleded24

From Perfect World Productions:

[url=www.perfectworldproductions.com/education/portfolio/CLC-globalization-en... Problem With Globalization[/url]

[url=www.perfectworldproductions.com/education/portfolio/ceta_comic_en.pdf]Top Ten Reasons Why CETA Is Bad For Canada[/url]

janfromthebruce

Opening New Markets in Europe

Creating Jobs and Opportunities for Canada

Tabled in the House of Commons today as the background document.

Unionist

Article by Yves Engler:

[url=http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/yves-engler/ndp-neoliberal_b_4166887.html]The "N" in NDP now stands for "Neoliberal"[/url]

Quote:

This past week may come to be seen as a watershed moment in the NDP's capitulation to neoliberal capitalism. The nominally social democratic party effectively supported a major corporate trade accord all the while opposing an International Monetary Fund call for a more progressive tax code. [...]

In another sign of the NDP's capitulation to rule by the rich, the International Monetary Fund is proposing a more progressive tax policy than Canada's "Left" party. Last week the usually neoliberal-minded IMF released a paper that noted, "tax systems around the world have become steadily less progressive since the early 1980s." To rectify this the Fund's Fiscal Monitor presented an argument to increase income taxes on high earners to 60 to 70 per cent and even suggested a capital levy on wealthy households.

Long a proponent of socially devastating austerity policies, the IMF basically proposes a return to the income tax levels that were common three decades ago. At the start of the 1980s Canada's top tax bracket was over 60 per cent, which is some 15 percentage points higher than today's rates. (In 1948 incomes over $2.4 million in 2013 money were taxed at 80 per cent).

A social democratic party motivated by bettering society -- rather than simply taking power -- would have jumped on the IMF proposal. Instead, the NDP leader was busy repudiating the party's Toronto Centre by-election candidate, Linda McQuaig, who previously argued that tax rates should be 70 per cent on the rich. [...]

"Be careful, she has never said anything different from party policy [since becoming a candidate]," Thomas Mulcair told the National Post. "She is a public intellectual who has written all kinds of things. But we're the ones who have to put an offer before the Canadian public ... Personal income tax increases are not on the table."

At some point progressive minded party members will have to ask themselves how far down the neoliberal path they are willing to travel. In the meantime they should tell the NDP leadership they oppose CETA and want substantially increased taxes on the wealthy.

[my emphasis]

socialdemocrati...

If the IMF supports higher taxes on the wealthy, then it can't be a radical position. It's time to support a new tax bracket on the super wealthy.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

If the IMF supports higher taxes on the wealthy, then it can't be a radical position. It's time to support a new tax bracket on the super wealthy.

 

Yep!

Unionist

[url=http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/jerry-dias/2013/10/ceta-will-make-canadi... Dias: CETA will make Canadians 'hewers of wood'[/url]

Quote:

Right now it seems the potential upsides of CETA could be outweighed by the downside. Unfortunately, there's no way of knowing for sure. This deal is too important -- too far-reaching -- to be left up to chance. Canadians need assurances the Harper government is focused on the practical outcomes, not just the theoretical.

We need to see the deal, so Canadians can decide for themselves whether it's in their best interest.

How much you wanna bet Jerry will be disappointed when he sees the deal?

Strange article - the openmindedness of the final section doesn't jibe with the conclusion expressed in the headline. I sometimes wonder how these things get written.

kropotkin1951

In BC we no longer even turn our wood into paper and lumber mostly we ship raw logs to the US and Asia.  I look forward to getting some of those value added wood products from Europe where they don't ship out raw logs.

kropotkin1951

A good article talking about the lack of detail being offered by the government. I like the analysis done on how we should be very wary because of the lack of transparency.

Quote:

Lastly, there is reason to doubt the government's negotiation in substance. As an illustration, last June the government made a major concession to the Europeans by offering to raise the threshold for Investment Canada review of European takeovers of Canadian companies from $1 billion to $1.5 billion. Remarkably, this concession came shortly after the government unilaterally had raised the same threshold from $344 million to $1 billion.

If the Investment Canada threshold was meant as a carrot in trade negotiations, why would the Harper government give it up twice and, in the first instance, for nothing in exchange from the Europeans? Not a good sign. I also do not see how the government can avoid giving the same lenient treatment to American takeovers of Canadian companies -- again for nothing in exchange -- based on a NAFTA clause that bars sweetheart deals for other trade partners.

The result is that future Canadian governments will have less flexibility to negotiate with European and probably American companies that buy up Canadian competitors. Thus, future governments will have less room to protect jobs, research and development, or head offices in Canada. Future government also will be unable to lower the threshold without violating the CETA and assuming potentially massive liability to European companies.

How will this feature of the deal weigh against others? Was the CETA used here to justify changes the Prime Minister wanted to impose on Canadians through a free trade backdoor?

The deal's secrecy makes it impossible to examine these questions, leaving us dependent on the government's drip-drip of information. Also, unlike NAFTA, it appears that the CETA will be irreversible by future governments, federal or provincial, for decades to come.

Why then was the CETA announced in a way that precluded any serious scrutiny of the government's self-promotion and spin?

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2013/10/30/CETA-Whats-Behind-the-Curtain/

ygtbk
Aristotleded24

Unionist wrote:

Article by Yves Engler:

[url=http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/yves-engler/ndp-neoliberal_b_4166887.html]The "N" in NDP now stands for "Neoliberal"[/url]

Quote:

This past week may come to be seen as a watershed moment in the NDP's capitulation to neoliberal capitalism. The nominally social democratic party effectively supported a major corporate trade accord all the while opposing an International Monetary Fund call for a more progressive tax code. [...]

In another sign of the NDP's capitulation to rule by the rich, the International Monetary Fund is proposing a more progressive tax policy than Canada's "Left" party. Last week the usually neoliberal-minded IMF released a paper that noted, "tax systems around the world have become steadily less progressive since the early 1980s." To rectify this the Fund's Fiscal Monitor presented an argument to increase income taxes on high earners to 60 to 70 per cent and even suggested a capital levy on wealthy households.

Long a proponent of socially devastating austerity policies, the IMF basically proposes a return to the income tax levels that were common three decades ago. At the start of the 1980s Canada's top tax bracket was over 60 per cent, which is some 15 percentage points higher than today's rates. (In 1948 incomes over $2.4 million in 2013 money were taxed at 80 per cent).

A social democratic party motivated by bettering society -- rather than simply taking power -- would have jumped on the IMF proposal. Instead, the NDP leader was busy repudiating the party's Toronto Centre by-election candidate, Linda McQuaig, who previously argued that tax rates should be 70 per cent on the rich. [...]

"Be careful, she has never said anything different from party policy [since becoming a candidate]," Thomas Mulcair told the National Post. "She is a public intellectual who has written all kinds of things. But we're the ones who have to put an offer before the Canadian public ... Personal income tax increases are not on the table."

At some point progressive minded party members will have to ask themselves how far down the neoliberal path they are willing to travel. In the meantime they should tell the NDP leadership they oppose CETA and want substantially increased taxes on the wealthy.

[my emphasis]

I've said before and I'll keep saying, that we citizens will have to fight CETA on our own, as none of the political parties are prepared to help us out.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Ontario Liberals fail to protect health care in trade deal with Europe

While the Harper Conservative government has pushed ahead with its Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union, the Ontario Liberal government has failed to protect public health care.

Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) protection for public health care was initially supposed to be provided through the Annex II Social Services Reservations.  Annex II protects social services “maintained for a public purpose”.

Unfortunately, the meaning of “public purpose” is disputed and the provision may not provide protection where there is private sector involvement in health care. 

To clarify that health services delivered as public services are excluded from NAFTA, the parties negotiated a general reservation in 1996.  This addition to NAFTA's Annex I meant that services provided by provinces since 1994 would be excluded from NAFTA liberalization.

With CETA, however, general reservations like those seen in Annex I under NAFTA
for public services are not included.  Instead, the provinces must name the specific services that they want excluded from the liberalization ratchet that locks-in privatization.

This means that we will be left only with the weaker protection of public health care provided by Annex II, including its lack of clarity over the meaning of “public purpose”. 

Worse, the Ontario government is moving more public health care services to private, for-profit delivery through public private partnerships, private surgical and diagnostic clinics, and by underfunding public health care services and leaving more care to private purchase (for those who can afford it).  As a result the separation of public and private care has become much less clear, making the protection provided by Annex II more uncertain....

http://ochuleftwords.blogspot.ca/2014/03/ontario-liberals-fail-to-protec...

sherpa-finn

Well, if the much-touted free-trade agreement with Europe was to be the cornerstone of the 2015 Conservative re-election campaign, - as in "We are the Masters of the Economy" - this could be a bit awkward (if true).

Report: Germany to reject EU-Canada trade deal  - and all over the 'investor protection' clauses, too.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/report-germany-to-reject-eu-canada-trade-deal/article19795900/

Aristotleded24

sherpa-finn wrote:
Report: Germany to reject EU-Canada trade deal  - and all over the 'investor protection' clauses, too.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/report-germany-to-reject-eu-canada-trade-deal/article19795900/

A centre-right government in Germany acts on an issue that the centre-left opposition in Canada dare not mention.

Good news, if this actually does end up sinking CETA. I suppose in a sense it helps the NDP because they don't have to make an actual decision that either gets them ripped apart in the press or alienates and frustrates traditional supporters.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

What about the Liberals, Pondering, Debater. They support this thing. Why is voting for an agreement that takes away the rights of citiznes to legislate against the porpertied class a good thing in the eyes of Justin Trudeau? And don't use the usual answer, you're against it but you have to vote for Trudeau anyway because Tom Mulcair has a beard.

PrairieDemocrat15

What a reversal! Earlier in the negotiations it was said Germany was the toughest European negotiator and was pushing the hardest for strong investor protection. I guess the civilian uproar over investor-state-dispute-settlement (mostly in the US deal) had an effect. Merkel is also in coalition with the Social Democrats, who may have been pushing for this.

The big question now is can this deal survive without Germany, the dominant economy in Europe. Harper must be calling Angela right now and asking WTF?

Germany's rejection of the treaty should bolster NDP criticisms of it and deflate Conservative and media charges that the NDP is "anti-trade." The party should be vocal about this, it's a good wedge issue to separate them from the Liberals. Also, May has been strident in her opposition to free "trade" agreements (one 9 the few good Green  policies) and could take NDP votes if CETA becomes an election issues (which the business class certainly want to avoid).

Adding an economic powerhouse like Germany to the growing list of countries that have rejected ISDS (including Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, and Brazil) is a huge win. The activists in Europe has affected real change. Keep fighting the good fight!

Aristotleded24

Arthur Cramer wrote:
What about the Liberals, Pondering, Debater. They support this thing. Why is voting for an agreement that takes away the rights of citiznes to legislate against the porpertied class a good thing in the eyes of Justin Trudeau? And don't use the usual answer, you're against it but you have to vote for Trudeau anyway because Tom Mulcair has a beard.

With all due respect, Muclair didn't exactly come out against this thing as forcefully as he should have either. The only major party leader who took a strong position was Elizabeth May. I also said at the time that we would have to fight this thing by ourselves without any help from the political parties.

PrairieDemocrat15

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Arthur Cramer wrote:
What about the Liberals, Pondering, Debater. They support this thing. Why is voting for an agreement that takes away the rights of citiznes to legislate against the porpertied class a good thing in the eyes of Justin Trudeau? And don't use the usual answer, you're against it but you have to vote for Trudeau anyway because Tom Mulcair has a beard.

With all due respect, Muclair didn't exactly come out against this thing as forcefully as he should have either. The only major party leader who took a strong position was Elizabeth May. I also said at the time that we would have to fight this thing by ourselves without any help from the political parties.

True, but the Liberal Party passed an explicit motion supporting the government's free trade agenda and the CETA, before the final text has been released. Actually, veteran Liberal Wayne Easter did some good work on criticising CETA and it's secretive negotiation process. He was on this before the NDP's critic. However, after Trudeau became leader Liberal criticisms of the CETA have essentially stopped and Easter has since been replaced with the globetrotting Christina Freeland as the Liberal 's trade critic. 

The NDP also openly opposed the Canada - China FIPPA,  unlike the Liberals. 

sherpa-finn

This is just too weird.... apparently the German Gov't is again complaining about the investor protection provisions in CETA... so is this a substantive problem, - or just political posturing for the folks back home?

Germany demands changes to Canada-EU free trade pact

Just hours before Canada and the European Union release the long-awaited final text of a free trade pact, German officials visiting Ottawa delivered a blunt and unwelcome message: The deal must be changed.

In an exclusive interview with The Globe and Mail in Ottawa, senior German official Uwe Beckmeyer said sections of the deal allowing private companies to sue governments – known as investor-state provisions – must be changed before Germany will support the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/germany-demands-changes-to-canada-eu-free-trade-pact/article20798559/

PrairieDemocrat15

Mulcair talks CETA in QP and scrums today. On the floor of the Commons, he called the investor-state dispute settlement provisions "nefarious." 

thorin_bane

http://www.parl.gc.ca/HouseChamberBusiness/ChamberVoteDetail.aspx?Langua... This vote seems relavant. Wonder if any of our Liberal cheerleaders will have any reason for this vote result from way back when.

Unionist

I've been waiting for this, but haven't read it yet (128 pages):

[url=https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/making-sense-ceta... Sense of the CETA[/url],

by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Another nail in their tax-exempt status.

 

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

As a strategy, progressive political organizations could take their serious positions off-site. An individual could write something on a blog, and they could link to it without being formally associated with it.

Pondering

All the provincial governments have approved the deal. Doesn't that include the NDP? Mulcair isn't exactly denouncing CETA either. Glass houses and all that.

Quote:
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/10/08/eu-canada-trade-deal_n_4065145.html

OTTAWA — There's a new pothole on the long, bumpy road towards a Canada-Europe free trade deal: whether human rights and weapons of mass destruction should be addressed in a side agreement to the overall pact.

Diplomats from the European Union say that Canada is balking at the inclusion of language in a final text that would speak to the importance of affirming human rights and non-proliferation efforts.

The clauses would not appear in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement but in a separate so-called Strategic Partnership Agreement.

The EU's new ambassador to Canada, Marie-Anne Coninsx, says the two pacts are linked and there won't be a deal on one without the other.

According to the EU delegation, Canadian negotiators are hesitant to agree to a clause allowing for a suspension of the free trade deal if Canada is found in violation of human rights, or found to be proliferating weapons of mass destruction. Though EU negotiators say the suspension clause would only be used in extreme circumstances, the rules by which a country is deemed to be in violation are not codified.

Manfred Auster, the head of the political, press and information section at the EU, said the EU has “essential clauses” that its member states have decided are very important in all of their international agreements.

“We have two major principles enshrined in them, one is the promotion of human rights and the other one, the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” he said.

The EU insists Canada sign on to these agreements so that other countries which have agreements with the EU could not accuse negotiators of unfairly singling out certain countries with troubled human rights records, while giving Canada a pass.

Quote:

Harper has been resisting this for years...

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2013/06/06/CETA-Human-Rights/

Neither the Liberals nor the NDP have latched onto it as an issue. We all know that the Liberals are a corporatist party but what is holding the NDP back? Did they not notice?

It seems to me that both the Liberals and the NDP could be trumpeting their ability to close the deal on CETA through agreeing with the EU on both these issues. Both would be popular with a strong majority of Canadians. So what's up with the silence? Who's running the parties?

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