Surprise! The TPP is gonna screw us over!

From the CBC:

At the initial briefing offered to journalists, TPP negotiators said Canadian health and safety regulations would apply.

“The TPP fully protects Canada’s right to maintain and implement measures to ensure food safety for consumers, as well as to protect animal or plant life or health,” a trade department spokesman wrote CBC News.

But further clarification recently revealed that doesn’t mean dairy producers outside Canada have to follow the same rules Canadian farms do.

Most notably, it’s illegal in Canada to administer bovine growth hormone (rBST) to boost milk production in dairy cattle. But there’s no such restriction in the U.S.

No new certification or inspection regime appears set to screen milk destined for import into Canada. It’s also unclear whether U.S. milk would be segregated at Canadian processing facilities, or simply mixed with Canadian product.

Aside from being yet another compelling reason to go vegan, this latest revelation clearly demonstrates the power of the TPP and similar “trade” agreements to undercut the power of the Canadian government to regulate products on the market based on legitimate safety concerns.

Want more? Check this one out:

Copyright activists say Canadians could face lawsuits, fines or worse for ripping the latest Justin Bieber CD or uploading an animated GIF of Jose Bautista’s bat-flip under a new trade deal, and they’re calling on the newly elected Justin Trudeau to act…

“Canadians don’t realize that the way that they use the Internet every day is going to change dramatically,” said Meghan Sali, a spokeswoman for the digital-rights advocacy group OpenMedia….

The TPP could make Canadians liable for criminal or civil penalties for transferring content they own from one device to another and uploading or re-posting highlights from professional sports, she said, adding that the deal could allow authorities to seize and destroy any device used for copyright infringement.

Or how ’bout this, from Council of Canadians’ Chairperson Maude Barlow, reporting on TPP-like Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) cases against Canada under NAFTA:

As a result of NAFTA’s ISDS challenges, Canada is now the most sued developed country in the world. Canada has been sued more times than either the U.S. or Mexico. Of the 77 known NAFTA investor-state claims, 35 have been against Canada, 22 have targeted Mexico and 20 have targeted the US. The US government has won 11 of its cases and never lost a NAFTA investor-state case or paid any compensation to Canadian or Mexican companies…

Cases include: […]

  • Lone Pine, a Canadian energy company, is suing the Canadian government through its American affiliate for $250 million (approximately €152 million) because the province of Quebec introduced a temporary moratorium on all fracking activities under the St. Lawrence River until further studies are completed. This challenge is concerning because it involves a domestic company using a foreign subsidiary to sue its own government.

If you live in a riding with a Liberal MP, call them. Email them. Write them a physical letter. Go to their office. Hell, barricade yourself in their office. Make it abundantly clear to them that their party and their government has to reject this noxious agreement.

Because, rhetoric notwithstanding, it’s not a done deal yet. And if Trudeau is really on board with this hopey-changey thing, then he’s got ample reasons to reject the TPP, even from within the framework of a “pro-free-trade” party.

For more of The Alfalfafield’s coverage on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, see here.

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