TPP deal turns over too much to corporations

Reader disappointed by response from NDP leader John Horgan in column from Tom Fletcher

Tom Fletcher’s Dec. 23 interview with John Horgan is disappointing. Fletcher asks a misleading non-sequitur:  Since the federal NDP opposes TPP (TransPacific Partnership), is Horgan and the B.C. NDP against Pacific Rim trade?  Horgan responds that he (and B.C. NDP) favour trade, especially in Pacific Rim markets.  Different sectors in B.C. (agriculture, tech, etc) could gain or lose under TPP and that needs to be examined.  In the full online interview, Horgan adds that, if TPP does not restrict our ability to export value-added forest products, then Horgan would support that.

All this treats TPP like some classical trade deal from a bygone (pre-NAFTA) era.  While TPP lowers some tariff barriers, it is so much more than a trade deal.  It’s a deal that enshrines the rights of multinational corporations to trump democratic process in Canada, B.C. or our municipalities.  It’s a deal to protect the rights of big-time investors, including a “right” to future profits.  If Canadians pass a law that could impact some corporation’s future gains, we get sued for billions.  That suit will be resolved by a panel of corporate lawyers while Canadian courts have no say.  TPP is another step — a big step — toward corporations ruling the world while democracy no longer matters.

Maybe that future is OK with Tom Fletcher.  If it’s OK with John Horgan, then we ask why a government by Horgan would be any different than Christy Clark turning B.C. into a mere territory in the domain of Global Big Bucks Inc.?

Greg Holloway

 

Saanich