The Trans-Pacific Partnership, with its twelve participating countries on three continents, is the largest regional trade and investment agreement that Canada has ever negotiated. It is also one of the most controversial— for good reason. Negotiations ended exactly a year ago, in October 2015, and the TPP was signed in New Zealand in February 2016. But there is no guarantee it will ever come into effect.
Opposition to the TPP is strongest in the United States, where both 2016 presidential nominees vowed to kill or significantly renegotiate the deal. Outgoing President Barack Obama characterized the TPP as a Made-in-America deal in the hope of getting it passed into law shortly after the November presidential election. But is what is good for corporate America good for Canada?
In this book, experts in a dozen policy areas explain what the impact of the TPP agreement would be on Canada. Many of the key issues they explore have received little media coverage, notably the effect of the TPP on environmental protection, health care and other public services, Canada's cultural industries, the labour market, human rights and the democratic decision-making process generally. Perhaps most controversially, the TPP would expand the rights of multinational corporations to sue governments for policies and decisions that interfere with their profits.
Most public commentary on the TPP in Canada has come from CEOs and business lobbyists with a vested interest in furthering a free-trade model that impoverishes democracy and weakens our ability to shape public-interest regulation. The expert contributors to this book, drawn from academia, the labour movement and NGO world, offer an independent and nuanced account of the real but underreported costs of the TPP.
About the authors
SCOTT SINCLAIR is a senior research fellow with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, where he directs the centre's Trade and Investment Research Project. He was formerly a senior trade policy advisor with the government of British Columbia.
STUART TREW is the editor of the CCPA Monitor, a bimonthly publication of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. He was previously a trade researcher and campaigner with the Council of Canadians and, before that, editor of a popular weekly newspaper in Ottawa.
"This powerful collection of essays lays bare what the TPP is really all about: enhancing corporate power. Under the guise of a trade deal, the treaty hands corporations an assortment of tools for striking down domestic laws that protect citizens and the environment. Easy-to-read and authoritative, this "citizen's guide" deftly exposes how the TPP would negatively affect our lives— increasing inequality and hampering efforts to deal with global emergencies like climate change.
–Linda McQuaig, author & journalist