WATCH: Free trade agreements 101

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Trade and investment agreements increase corporate power, erode state sovereignty, weaken democratic authority and are central to the neoliberal framework of privatization and deregulation. They do this by restricting government ability to regulate in the public interest, limiting progressive governance and public services, while at the same time protecting and privileging the interest of multinational corporations. This includes in many areas not directly related to trade like food production, access to medicines, health care, the internet, environment and labour regulations.

Most trade deals include investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), a provision that gives multinational corporations the ability to sue governments over regulations they feel are affecting their investment, including "expected future profits". They limit the ability of governments to expand public services by locking in privatization. It affords foreign corporations the right to sue for compensate when public services are expanded or when privatization is reversed.

We call on the government to hold public hearings on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in each province and territory across Canada as well as separate and meaningful consultation with Indigenous communities and First Nations. No agreement can be ratified without full consent.

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Les accords commerciaux et d'investissement augmentent les pouvoirs des entreprises, affaiblissent la souveraineté de l'État ainsi que son autorité démocratique et sont le pivot d'un système néolibéral de privatisation et de dérégulation. Les manifestations de ces accords se reflètent par une restriction de la capacité du gouvernement à réglementer en faveur de l'intérêt collectif, en limitant la gouvernance progressive et l'accessibilité aux services publics, tout en protégeant et privilégiant les intérêts des grandes multinationales. Ces restrictions touchent plusieurs domaines qui ne sont pas liés directement aux accords commerciaux, tels que la production alimentaire, l'accès aux médicaments, le système de santé, l'internet, l'environnement ainsi que la réglementation de la main-d'œuvre.

La majorité des transactions commerciales comportent un règlement des différends entre un investisseur et la Partie contractante d'accueil , une clause qui procure aux multinationales le droit de poursuivre les gouvernements au sujet de réglementations qui nuisent à leurs investissements, y compris "les bénéfices futurs attendus". Ils limitent la capacité des gouvernements à accroitre l'accès aux services publics en perpétuant la privatisation. Cela offre également aux entreprises étrangères Ie droit d'entamer des poursuites en vue de recevoir une compensation lorsque les services publics se diversifient ou que la privatisation est inversée.

Nous demandons donc au gouvernement de tenir une audience publique au sujet de l'Accord de partenariat transpacifique dans chaque province et territoire du Canada ainsi qu'une importante consultation séparée avec les communautés autochtones et les Premières nations. Aucun accord ne peut être ratifié sans consentement préalable de toutes les parties.

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