Politics

by Glyn Moody


Filed Under:
canada, ceta, corporate sovereignty, eu, isds, tisa, tpp, ttip, us



TPP Dead, TTIP Dying, But The EU And Canada Seem Determined To Ram Through CETA Deal Without Proper Scrutiny

from the cost-benefit-analysis,-what's-that? dept

The death of TPP has now been confirmed by Donald Trump himself in a short video posted to YouTube. As Mike wrote recently, the other huge trade deal, TTIP, is now in limbo, probably dying, and there are rumors that even the low-profile Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) has been put on ice pending instructions from the new President. Doubtless attempts will be made to revivify them, and if those fail, there will certainly be further so-called "trade" deals -- which actually go way beyond trade -- that seek to bring in all the bad things that Techdirt has been warning about for years.

But alongside TPP, TTIP and TISA, there is one deal that is teetering on the brink of success. CETA is a smaller-scale agreement between the EU and Canada, but it's more important than it looks. It allows US companies with subsidiaries in Canada to use the agreement's corporate sovereignty provisions to sue the EU -- and there are 42,000 such companies according to one analysis (pdf). As a result, CETA has been called "TTIP by the backdoor," since it would provide a handy way for US companies to put pressure on EU nations even if TTIP suffers the same fate as TPP.

Perhaps because CETA looks increasingly like the last hope for the establishment to push through an old-style trade deal, there is now an unseemly haste on both sides of the Atlantic to ram it through the ratification process as quickly as possible, with as little scrutiny as possible. That's most clearly seen in the EU, where the normal procedures for approval have been thrown out of the window, as this post explains:

CETA will only officially arrive at the European Parliament on November 21. From then MEPs have six months to analyse, write opinions, debate and vote. But a coup of sorts has ensured none of the usual procedures count this time. The centre-left and centre right groups, that together make up the huge majority known to many of us as the "grand coalition" in the European Parliament have plotted to ensure CETA will speed so quickly through this institution that if you blink, you may miss it. They want a vote as early as December, making it impossible for the Parliament to assess CETA in any concrete terms.
Moreover:
To make matters worse, several committees who have oversight on certain aspects covered in CETA have requested their own opinions, and as it stands all have been denied. The environment and employment committees, who complained that the speedy timetable made it impossible to adequately assess CETA, were refused opinions for seemingly no reason but to silence any critique.
Things aren't much better in Canada, as Michael Geist explains:
Last week, Steve Verheul, the lead Canadian CETA negotiator, appeared before another House of Commons committee and was asked if the department has done any analysis on the financial impact of the extended patent protection [for pharmaceutical drugs]. Remarkably, Verheul said that it has not, arguing that it is difficult to come up with a projection.
Essentially, the Canadian government has absolutely no idea how much this concession to the EU is likely to cost the people of Canada. Nor does it really have much intention of trying to calculate it, because it plans to implement CETA regardless. As in the EU, then, the Canadian public is expected to sit back and meekly allow their government to sign up to a deal with open-ended risks, thanks to corporate sovereignty, but without any proper scrutiny of the costs and alleged benefits.

And yet the politicians involved in this arrogant and anti-democratic behavior are surprised when demagogues like Donald Trump win elections.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and +glynmoody on Google+


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2016 @ 10:55am

    Works for me...

    Every Nation gets the government it deserves.

    Their people elected them in, America said fuck that and got Trump instead. Sure we will have other issues because of it, but at least something positive will be coming out of this joke of an election cycle.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2016 @ 2:30pm

      Re: Works for me...

      "Every Nation gets the government it deserves." Bollocks. When deals are done behind closed doors the Nation doesn't even know what is being done in their name.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    bikey (profile), 23 Nov 2016 @ 11:07am

    CETA

    What happened to the provisions that CETA has to be ratified by every country in the EU, and Wallonia agreed to sign it only on the promise that the European Court of Justice would be allowed to decide whether or not it violates EU law, which it almost clearly does (in terms of the ISDS provisions)? If it gets through all this, these are well-educated countries (i.e. no one is being exploited) and if they have so little self-respect as to fall for this US-supported agreement (42,000 companies is not nothing), there's some logic in letting them stew in their own juices.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2016 @ 11:20am

      Re: CETA

      I was wondering the same thing; I thought CETA was dead in the water at this point, despite the Liberals and the Coalition wanting to fast-track?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2016 @ 11:34am

      Re: CETA

      Delaying tactic until the cheques clear then the bribed politicians will vote yes

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2016 @ 11:13am

    humans are doomed

    this is why we will not survive long on this earth

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2016 @ 11:39am

      Re: humans are doomed

      we will survive on this earth for a long fucking time.

      We have been here a long time and humanity will naturally get together to find a solution to problems. It's how society got started to begin with. If shit was as bad as you claim then we never would have gotten here to begin with!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Roger Strong (profile), 23 Nov 2016 @ 12:57pm

        Re: Re: humans are doomed

        Look; we're Canadians. We lead the industrialized nations of the world in toaster-related deaths. We don't do well in Mad Max situations.

        Except Winnipeggers. When civilization collapses, remember, Winnipeg was way ahead of you.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    freakanatcha, 23 Nov 2016 @ 12:54pm

    Where is Justin Trudeau on this?

    I would think the Liberals would be skeptical about any trade deal with ISDS provisions.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Chris Brand (profile), 23 Nov 2016 @ 1:37pm

      Re: Where is Justin Trudeau on this?

      Funny.
      The Liberals are in the pockets of big business, same as ever. They tabled the bill for CETA with no explanatory memorandum the day after signing the treaty, despite their own policies for treaties of waiting 21 sitting days and always having an explanatory memorandum.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Nov 2016 @ 3:11pm

    Trump will renegotiate TPP

    to include the worst provisions for the Repubs who remained loyal to him.

    Expect Hollywood's copyright maximalist stuff to survive, because Trump wants to reduce the trade deficit, even if it means kissing Hollywood's, um, ring.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Atkray (profile), 23 Nov 2016 @ 5:42pm

    Possible silver lining.....

    Perhaps if this passes one of the first companies to leverage the ISDS portion will be Google. Once they win a couple cases then it may become clear to them that ISDS is no bueno.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      crade (profile), 24 Nov 2016 @ 12:25pm

      Re: Possible silver lining.....

      Unfortunately, everyone already know ISDS is bad news. Thats why it's packaged with a bunch of other stuff and called a "free trade agreement".

      It's just like everyone in Canada already knows longer drug patents are absolutely terrible. The corrupt need to claim we just have no choice and they are somehow necessary evils. Literally no one admits they want them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 24 Nov 2016 @ 4:10am

    At the very least we now know it won't be that easy to get this crap approved without some heavy public opposition. This alone is quite an awesome improvement over one or two decades ago.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 24 Nov 2016 @ 10:19am

    No matter how much people hate or despise trump at least he did that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      crade (profile), 24 Nov 2016 @ 12:17pm

      Re:

      Sure, he did it because he actually believes it a free trade agreement and he is against free trade instead of on the merits of the deal, but don't look a gift horse in the mouth! :)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer
Anonymous number for texting and calling from Hushed. $25 lifetime membership, use code TECHDIRT25
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.