For Immediate Release
Dylan Penner, Media Officer
Office: (613) 233-4487, ext. 249
NAFTA Renegotiation Imminent, Council of Canadians Available for Comment
President Trump is expected to sign an executive order today to launch the renegotiation of NAFTA, having already signed one to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. As an organization formed in response to the first free trade agreement with the U.S., the Council of Canadians is available for comment.
“NAFTA has needed renegotiation since before it was signed. It has hurt people in all three countries, and has resulted in larger inequality and corporate rights. Chapter 11 is a symbol of that,” says Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “But negotiating behind closed doors is not going to solve the problem. It will not give us a deal that puts the interests of people and communities before corporations. We need a better deal, not a worse one.”
The Council is calling for:
1. transparency through the entirety of the negotiations – especially in regards to what Trudeau is conceding to Trump to maintain NAFTA
2. meaningful consultations with the general public, as well as consultations and consent from First Nations
3. removal of the controversial Chapter 11 investor-state provision
4. removal of all references to water in NAFTA as a good, service or investment, unless to allow for the specific protection or exclusion of water
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5. an exemption from NAFTA’s energy proportionality rule in order to meet our Paris climate commitments
6. a North American Auto Pact to ensure that each country receives a proportional share of employment and investment, and that workers have good jobs and fair wages
7. strengthening the exemption of medicare in NAFTA to allow for an expansion of public health care in areas including pharmacare
8. protection of farmers and the local control over farm and food polices
9. the right to use procurement to create jobs and local economic projects
10. clear rules assessing that trade serves communities and people, not the other way around
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Founded in 1985, the Council of Canadians is Canada’s leading social action organization, mobilizing a network of 60 chapters across the country.