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October 28, 2017 2:12 am

What Will the TPP Mean For Northern BC?

Monday, October 5, 2015 @ 10:31 AM

Prince George, B.C. – It’s too early to say what effect the newly signed Trans-Pacific Partnership will have on Canada’s economy.

That from UNBC economics professor Dr. Paul Bowles in reaction to the deal announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper this morning.

“This is an agreement which includes the U.S. with whom Canada already has a free-trade agreement,” he says. “We already have a free-trade agreement with Korea and Korea is in that group too. So it’s unclear what the impact of this larger (12 country) agreement will be.”

He says there are even more question marks because China isn’t involved.

“One of the major markets for B.C goods, lumber and other minerals and energy so on the export side it’s not really clear yet how much difference that will make in terms of market access,” says Bowles.

“Of course the other side is what will be the impact on northern B.C. residents as with other Canadian residents. Will dairy products and pharmaceutical prices stay up? We don’t know yet.”

One thing he is certain of however is the impact the deal will have on the election campaign.

“Certainly the Conservatives will be pushing this as a way of spurring a somewhat sluggish domestic economy and I would imagine that the NDP will be highlighting the problems that have been faced under the Canada/U.S. free-trade agreement and NAFTA and the hallowing out of the manufacturing industry,” says Bowles.

“The Liberals seem to have a position somewhere in between of well we think it’s a good idea but we’re not quite sure under what conditions. I would imagine it is going to be a talking point and of course Canada has had so called free-trade elections in the past and so it will resonate.”


Remember that sucking sound of our jobs going south afta nafta . Thanks lyin Brian . He got a condo in NY for his efforts . Now it’s Stevie’s turn to screw us again . It’s such a good deal for Canadians that it’s going to take a 4.3 billion dollar bribe to aid the dairy farmers as their livelihood gets the boots put to them .

If its so good then why all the secrecy? Harper has been closed mouth about this.. this could be the final nail in his coffin once the truth about how it will impact Canada is made clear.

Like Ataloss mentioned.. we didnt gain anything from Nafta..all we did was loose.. and with all the secrecy around this latest agreement one can not only wonder how bad it will really be for Canada.

Could you imagine what would of happened if the other two twits where in power when this deal went down.

China not involved? Perhaps the good Dr. Bowles should refresh himself on who cracks the whip of Taiwan. The Peoples Republic of China considers Taiwan a province, and has threatened military action if any thoughts of independence should arise.

Just a lot of smoke, will this end the softwood lumber agreement and end the import tariff we pay, NO. We already export our raw minerals and saw logs most of the countries in the list already have the same products we do and others not interested in lumber. So we open the door to import more cars, trucks and allow more export of raw products and face higher drug costs and lost Auto sector jobs. Would be nice to know just were the real gains are and what the details are within the agreement other than getting talking points from harper

X-it.. the bad news is the biggest twit is in power signing this..

In any deal, there are trade offs! Time will tell what we gain and what we give up in order to gain!

http:// http://www.macleans.ca/economy/economicanalysis/why-the-tpp-is-such-a-big-and-good-deal-for-canada/

Gecko . China or Taiwan are not signatory to the TPP . You may be confusing Singapore with China . On Taiwan . They have only a little less fire power than does Canada’s military . It would be horrific to even think of twenty four million Taiwanese being murdered for ideology .

For what it’s worth, the twit who signs it is unknown. The agreement must be ratified by parliament – who is on a bit of a break with the election. So whatever twit wins the election, get’s to decide whether they will sign it or not – and if not, then we’re not part of it. So if you don’t want it, then don’t vote Conservative – then watch whoever does win will magically determine it’s an okay deal after all, and sign it anyway. Think of how many years the Liberals had to get out of the U.S. Free Trade Agreement that Mulroney signed (there is an exit provision within the agreement) and never did. Same with this, they’ll condemn it until elected, then adopt it reluctantly.

CBC gives more detail, and in that detail is the ratification process, which includes every countries parliament approval.

Hart Guy… could you give us a list of what we gained from NAFTA please.

“TPP deal ‘in best interests’ of Canadian economy, Harper says”

The guy who runs a 8 year deficit and refuses to admit we are in a recession.. Yeah he is the last person you can trust with anything Canadian..

So, the way I see it is that the TPP is essentially a “hidden” referendum question in this election. Unfortunately, the other candidates are not taking solid positions on this matter. We also dont know what the effects (good or bad) will be from this. Personally, I dont like the way it is being rushed in right before voting day along with the lack of information in regards to it. If I didn’t already have a serious issue with Steve’s credibility, then this would be the deciding factor in voting him out….seems awful shady considering the timing and lack of public consultation. I hope I am wrong.

My mistake… Taiwan has only “interested” in joining. Never followed through.

watchdog.. I think the other candidates are waiting till the final agreement is released before they give their opinion..

Harper shouldnt have been allowed to make any negotiations as he had to dissolve parliment to call an election.. so really he is not in power to be able to negotiate for Canada..but again he thinks the rules are not for him and he can do what he wants.

Anyone who doesn’t think this was unavoidable.. please get a clue. Canada is a global partner, exports will always be the future. If it bothers you so much the dairy farmers may be affected, you can still buy local BC milk and support them…

PG101 we have a clue.. its called NAFTA..we got screwed royally once.. we dont want it again..but of course our dictator does what he wants no matter what.. you should get a clue as well 101.. if you only think affects dairy farmers… Yes the countries all go together just to talk about milk imports and tariffs..thats it..nothing else… enjoy the Koolaid

P Val. Perhaps you could explain to us how we got royally screwed by NAFTA. Should make for interesting reading.

One leader enthusiastically endorses the TPP and is basking in the glow of mission accomplished!

Another leader swears he will not be bound by it, in spite of not yet having seen the whole text, i.e. with him it is a complete no – go, no matter what!

The other leader says that he is basically in favour of free trade, but when it comes to the TPP he will reserve judgment until after he has seen the complete text!

So, who makes the most sense?

Palopu, sure.. Well we have lost Canada is the most-sued country under the North American Free Trade Agreement and a majority of the disputes involve investors challenging the country’s environmental laws, according to a new study.

more than 70 per cent of claims since 2005 have been brought against Canada, and the number of challenges under a controversial settlement clause is rising sharply.

The investor-state dispute settlement mechanism contained in NAFTA’s chapter 11 grants investors the right to sue foreign governments without first pursuing legal action in the country’s court systems, in order to protect foreign investors from discrimination. Drafters of the 1994 treaty included the provision to protect U.S. and Canadian investors against corruption in Mexican courts.

Critics argue that the mechanism limits governments from enacting policies on legitimate public concerns such as the environment and labour or human rights, and that negotiations are often carried out in secret.

The CCPA believes the federal government’s strong commitment to Chapter 11 and its willingness to settle and compensate claimants is encouraging more cases against Canada. There were 12 cases brought against Canada from 1995 to 2005, while in the decade since there have been 23.

The 35 claims brought against Canada comprise 45 per cent of the total number of claims under NAFTA. That’s significantly more than Mexico’s 22 or the 20 brought against the U.S.

Canada has lost or settled six claims paying a total of $170 million in damages, while Mexico has lost five cases and paid out $204 million. The U.S.,meanwhile, has won 11 cases and has never lost a NAFTA investor-state case.

“Thanks to NAFTA chapter 11, Canada has now been sued more times through investor-state dispute settlement than any other developed country in the world,” said Scott Sinclair, who authored the study.

MORE: Six times Canada had to pay foreign investors under NAFTA’s Chapter 11

Even when countries win the legal costs of fighting an investor claim, it can cost millions of dollars. Sinclair estimates Canada has spent $65 million defending such claims over the past two decades.

About 63 per cent of the claims against Canada involved challenges to environmental protection or resource management programs that allegedly interfere with the profits of foreign investors.

The government has lost some of these environmental challenges and has been forced to overturn legislation protecting the environment.

In 1997, the Ethyl Corporation, a U.S. chemical company, used chapter 11 to challenge a Canadian ban on the import of MMT, a gasoline additive that is a suspected neurotoxin and which automakers have said interferes with cars’ diagnostic systems. The company won damages of $15 million and the government was forced to remove the policy.

A year later, U.S.-based S.D. Myers challenged Canada’s temporary ban on the export of toxic PCP waste, which was applied equally to all companies. Canada argued it was obliged to dispose of the waste within its own borders under another international treaty. However, the tribunal ruled the ban was discriminatory and violated NAFTA’s standards for fair treatment.

There are currently eight cases against the Canadian government asking for a total of $6 billion in damages. All of them were brought by U.S. companies.

Many of those current challenges involve domestic environmental protections such as the promotion of renewable energies, a moratorium on offshore wind projects on Lake Ontario and Nova Scotia’s decision to block a contentious mega-quarry.

In one case, a Calgary headquartered company that is registered in the U.S., Lone Pine Resources Inc., is suing the Canadian government for $250 million over Quebec’s moratorium on natural gas fracking, which applies equally to foreign and domestic companies. Lone Pine argues it was not consulted before the ban nor compensated for its wasted investment or loss of potential revenue.

Sinclair argues that the threat of challenges under chapter 11 has a chilling effect on public interest regulation, which will only worsen unless political and legal action is taken.

“Buoyed by their past successes, foreign investors and their legal advisors are now turning to NAFTA chapter 11 with increasing frequency and assertiveness,” he wrote.

“Unfortunately, compared to other parts of the world, there is surprisingly little political debate about the corrosive influence of ISDS on public policy and democracy in Canada.”

Canada is embarking on a new generation of multinational treaties such as the European Union free trade deal and the Trans Pacific Partnership, both of which contain investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) systems. While governments can be sued under ISDS, there is no similar recourse for states to hold foreign investors, often wealthy corporations, accountable for their actions.

Six times Canada had to pay foreign investors under NAFTA’s Chapter 11:
Case: Ethyl Corp. (1997)
Amount awarded: US$13 million, out-of-court settlement.
What happened: The U.S. chemical company challenged a Canada-wide ban on import and trade of the gasoline additive MMT, a suspected neurotoxin. Following a preliminary judgement against Canada, the government repealed the ban, issued an apology and paid a settlement.
2. Case: S.D. Meyers (1998)
Amount awarded: CDN$6.05 million, plus interest and compensation.
What happened: The U.S. waste disposal firm challenged a temporary Canadian ban on the export of toxic PCB wastes, something the country was obliged to do under an international environmental treaty. The tribunal ruled that Canada violated standards of treatment under NAFTA.
3.Pope and Talbot (1998)
Amount awarded: CDN$870,000.
What happened: The U.S. lumber company challenged Canada’s lumber export rules implemented under the Canada-U.S. softwood lumber agreement. The tribunal ruled Canada violated NAFTA’s minimum standards of treatment.
4. Mobil Investments/Murphy Oil (2007)
Amount awarded: Not yet determined, but damages continue to accrue as long as violating guideline in effect.
What happened: The oil investors argued that Canada’s guidelines requiring energy companies to invest in research and development in Newfoundland and Labrador are inconsistent with NAFTA rules. The tribunal ruled in favour of the investors and Canada is liable to pay damages.
5. AbitibiBowater (2009)
Amount awarded: CDN$130 million in settlement — the largest NAFTA-related settlement to date.
What happened: The pulp and paper company closed its last mill in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2008 and the provincial government enacted legislation to return its timber and water rights to the Crown and expropriate some of its lands and assets associated with water and hydroelectric rights. Abitibi was to be paid fair market value for the assets.The company launched a NAFTA claim and the government decided to settle without going to court.

6. St. Marys (2011)
Amount awarded: $15 million.
What happened: The company alleges its Canadian subsidiary was the victim of political interference when it tried to open a quarry near Hamilton, Ont., after residents grew concerned about the groundwater. The provincial government issued a zoning order preventing the site from being converted into a quarry and the company claimed that was unfair and discriminatory. The parties reached a settlement in 2013 that saw the company withdraw the claim in exchange for compensation from the Ontario government.
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Also on HuffPost:


11 Things About TPP Harper Doesn’t Want You To Know
1 of 23  
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1. It Could Criminalize Small-Scale Downloading1. It Could Criminalize Small-Scale Downloading2. It Could Reduce Or End CanCon Rules2. It Could Reduce Or End CanCon Rules3. ISPs Could Become Internet Cops3. ISPs Could Become Internet Cops4. Critics Call The TPP A Corporate Giveaway4. Critics Call The TPP A Corporate Giveaway5. It’s Not Secret To Lobbyists5. It’s Not Secret To Lobbyists6. It Could Mean Foreign Telecom Coming To Canada6. It Could Mean Foreign Telecom Coming To Canada7. Corporations Could Control Your Browsing History7. Corporations Could Control Your Browsing History8. It Could Change Your Grocery Bill8. It Could Change Your Grocery Bill9. Copyright Terms Will Likely Be Expanded9. Copyright Terms Will Likely Be Expanded10. You May Have To Do Less Copying And Quoting10. You May Have To Do Less Copying And Quoting11. Even Politicians Are Fed Up With The Secrecy11. Even Politicians Are Fed Up With The Secrecy

Apparently NAFTA becomes history once the TPP is ratified and implemented by the 12 participants.

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