Trade Justice Network

Trade Justice Network

October 18, 2013 08:44 ET

Canada-EU Deal: Trade Justice Network Wants Harper to Release Ceta Text; Launches Online Petition Demanding Public Review

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 18, 2013) - The Trade Justice Network and 30 other organizations have sent an open letter to Prime Minister Harper calling for the immediate publication of the draft text of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The federal government has just announced that negotiations on the Canada-EU deal have concluded.

"Texts from the CETA negotiations leaked over the past four years show that this agreement will have far-reaching negative implications for citizens and local communities. This is mainly because of how the deal will restrict public policy space at the request of multinational corporations on both sides of the Atlantic," says the letter to Prime Minister Harper. "Economic assessments of the deal published since the start of negotiations have also cast serious doubt on the value of CETA to Canadian exporters and workers."

The Canada-EU CETA will likely undermine democratic control over public services, provide extensive investor rights for European corporations and the ability to enforce those rights through unaccountable and secretive arbitration, extend patent protections on brand name drugs with an associated sharp rise in drug costs, eliminate buy-local options for municipal governments, and put even more roadblocks in the way of passing effective climate and environmental protection policies.

"We have gone to great trouble to see as much of the CETA text as possible, and what we have seen strongly suggests it is a bad deal for Canadians," says the letter. "Making the full, concluded text public would give you an opportunity to potentially prove us wrong."

The network is calling on other groups to endorse the call for transparency and has launched an online petition demanding a public review of CETA before it can be signed by the federal government.

The Trade Justice Network includes a broad cross-section of Canadian labour, environmental, farmers', student, health, human rights and public interest organizations concerned with the negative impacts of Canada signing a free trade deal with Europe.

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