Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Canada-EU Trade Agreement and the 'Buy American' scare

Why does it fall to a former Irish MP and Member of the European Parliament to raise questions about the dangers of privatization to Canadians when the Canada-EU trade agreement (CETA) gets passed? Isn't that the job of the Canadian government and the Canadian media? *rhetorical lol*

Under the guise of harmonizing regulations between provinces, TILMA enjoyed limited success in the west in ending the provinces' and municipalities' right to "Buy Local" in favour of investor rights for international corps. This was a big sticking point for the EU decision in going ahead with a Canada-EU trade deal - if European companies weren't going to be allowed to bid as equals on government contracts for both goods and services and if the provinces refused to end the favouring of local or national providers of public-sector services, well then the EU wasn't very interested in pursuing the deal.

Luckily for Harper and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the 100 transatlantic CEOs plumping for CETA, the big "Buy American" scare came along. In exchange for a one day opportunity window into the 4 or 5 billion dollars left in Obama's Buy American stimulus package - jobs! jobs! jobs! - Harper convinced the provinces to give up their local procurement rights.

Between these two deals - the throw-away Buy American 'exemption' and the proposed Canada-EU deal - we're caught in a pincer move to further corporatize public services.

Good thing there's one Irishman at the European parliament asking a few questions on our behalf then, eh?

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