NDP trade critic calls on Trudeau to release all details of new TPP deal
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at the Liberal National Caucus Meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang)
Jonathan Forani, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Monday, January 29, 2018 1:15PM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 29, 2018 1:22PM EST
NDP trade critic Tracey Ramsey is calling for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reveal details around the new Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, according to a letter provided to CTV News.
NDP trade critic Tracey Ramsey is calling for transparency from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau surrounding a new Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, the CPTPP.
“Canadians should not be the last to hear what international agreements you are signing them onto,” the Essex MP writes in the letter dated Jan. 26.
“It is time for your government to be fully transparent, release all available details about the state of current negotiations, and disclose to Canadians exactly how the CPTPP is different from the old TPP," she writes.
The new Trans-Pacific Partnership, called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, is a resurrected version of the first partnership that never came into effect after the withdrawal of the United States.
In the new letter, Ramsey outlines findings presented last year from consultations held by the Committee on International Trade, during which they heard from more than 400 witnesses, she writes, and received written remarks from more than 60,000 people. The majority — 95 per cent of Canadians consulted — expressed disapproval of the TPP.
Beyond the public consultations, experts too have expressed concern around the potential agreement, she writes, citing a study form the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University, which said Canada could lose 58,000 jobs due to “concessions that could severely impair our automobile industry and our supply management system,” Ramsey writes. “Even though your government has clearly signalled it will sign onto a revised TPP, Canadians have heard nothing about the details of this new agreement.”
She also cites a summary from the government of New Zealand outlining the differences between the old text of the TPP and the new version, CPTPP. “According to these details,” she writes, “there seem to be changes to provisions relating to intellectual property, government procurement, and investor-state provisions. It is not clear how and if any of these changes will affect Canada.”
Ramsey further expresses her concern in the letter for “troubling provisions” around privacy, intellectual property and control of Canadian businesses by foreign parties.
"Experts have pointed out that Canada would lose 58,000 jobs due to TPP concessions that could severely impair our automobile industry and our supply management system." - NDP International Trade Critic, @traceyram on #TPP deal #cdnpoli https://t.co/w1q32nh7b4 pic.twitter.com/45KfbnoNJM— NDP (@NDP) January 23, 2018
This is not Ramsey’s first call for TPP transparency. In a Jan. 23 statement on the NDP website, she wrote that “Canadians deserve clear and definitive answers on what is included in this deal, a government that respects their will, and a government that does not negotiate trade deals behind closed doors.”
Speaking to reporters earlier this month, Ramsey called on the Liberal government to release details around the new TPP deal and explain its alternative plans if NAFTA talks fail. As she does in the new letter, Ramsey expressed concern about the agreement’s potential impact on Canada's automotive sector, but said that it is not possible to say whether the NDP would support or oppose the text without seeing it.
"What is TPP?" she said. "At this point, I can't say that without getting my eyes on the agreement."
With files from CTV News Channel National Correspondent Michel Boyer and The Canadian Press.