Rene­go­ti­at­ing NAFTA deal

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has made it clear that he thinks the North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment (NAFTA) has been a bad deal for the United States.

He has called Canada and Mex­ico to the ta­ble to rene­go­ti­ate the deal. Pres­i­dent Trump wants to put “Amer­ica First” in NAFTA, or walk away from the deal.

For years, we have seen the ravages of NAFTA — the Chap­ter 11 cor­po­rate law­suits that have cost Canada mil­lions of dol­lars and eroded our en­vi­ron­men­tal and pub­lic pol­icy, hol­lowed out manufacturing towns and hun­dreds of thousands of peo­ple put out of work, and greater in­equal­ity in Canada, the U.S. and Mex­ico.

The Coun­cil of Cana­di­ans — Canada’s lead­ing so­cial ac­tion or­ga­ni­za­tion — is call­ing for three ma­jor things to make NAFTA a fairer deal:

1. Elim­i­nate Chap­ter 11, the in­vestor-state dis­pute set­tle­ment (ISDS) process.

ISDS pro­vi­sions give cor­po­ra­tions the right to sue the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment, of­ten for mil­lions — even bil­lions — of dol­lars, if any pub­lic pol­icy or gov­ern­ment ac­tion de­nies them in­vest­ment or profit op­por­tu­ni­ties.

2. Re­move all ref­er­ences to wa­ter as a good, ser­vice or in­vest­ment. Canada is vul­ner­a­ble to bulk wa­ter ex­ports and in­creased wa­ter pri­va­ti­za­tion with this NAFTA rule.

3. Elim­i­nate NAFTA’s en­ergy pro­por­tion­al­ity rule. This rule re­quires Canada to ex­port a lockedin per­cent­age of our en­ergy pro­duc­tion to the U.S.

This means more pro­duc­tion in the en­vi­ron­men­tally de­struc­tive tar sands, which will stop us from our cli­mate com­mit­ments.

Betty Wil­cox, Stan­hope,

Coun­cil of Cana­di­ans,

P.E.I. Chap­ter

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