The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a free-trade agreement between Canada and the European Union. If enacted, the agreement will eliminate 98% of the tariffs between Canada and the EU.
The negotiations were concluded in August 2014. All 28 European Union member states approved the final text CETA for signature, with Belgium being the final country whose ministers approved it. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada traveled to Brussels on 30 October 2016 to sign on behalf of Canada. The European Parliament approved the deal on 15 February 2017; most of it can be applied provisionally from as early as April 2017. The remaining parts of the agreement are subject to ratification by national legislatures.
The European Commission indicates the treaty will lead to savings of just over half a billion euros in taxes for EU exporters every year, mutual recognition in regulated professions such as architects, accountants and engineers, and easier transfers of company staff and other professionals between the EU and Canada. The European Commission claims CETA will create a more level playing field between Canada and the EU on intellectual property rights.
Critics oppose the treaty on the grounds that it will weaken European consumer rights, including those concerning food safety, and that tariffs are already very low. It has also been criticized as a boon only for big business and multinational corporations, while risking net-losses, unemployment, and environmental damage impacting individual citizens. The deal also includes a controversial investor-state dispute settlement mechanism. The agreement has prompted protests in Europe and Canada.
CETA would unilaterally amend the Constitution and infringe on the federal parliament’s exclusive jurisdiction over money and banking, along with a host of other constitutional rights and freedoms. The implementation of the CETA trade accord would effectively end any chance that Canadians could use our public bank, the Bank of Canada, as a source of government created debt-free money – an absolute necessity for Canada to become prosperous again. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and its even more worrisome cousin, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, TPP, are just the latest in a series of ersatz trade agreements designed by the rich elite for the rich elite as steps toward their goal of globalization and a world without borders in which they would be the unelected monarchs.
Greg Palast, one of America’s best investigative reporters and author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, just happened to be privy to a conversation of the super-rich elite in which it was decided that globalization was a magic word that would fit into their plan and in which the wondered how they could sell it to the people when it obviously wouldn’t be good for them. Someone suggested spending a large of money to hire a substantial number of professors to make the case for them. The head of Reuters news agency, who was a member of the group, said that he would make sure that the professors’ words would be published around the world.
I well remember reading many of these propaganda pieces. They basically all said the same thing: globalization is the best plan for the world. Most of them admitted that it would lead to a greater disparity of income between individuals within countries and between rich countries and poor countries. Nearly everyone identified the problem but not a single one of them suggested a solution for it! The recent U.S. presidential election underlined the fact that after several decades of talk there has been no solution. Image on right: Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press
A principle vehicle of globalization has been the ersatz trade agreements such as NAFTA, FIPA, and the proposed TPP and CETA, which were mislabeled from the beginning as “free trade” agreements to mislead the people. I must admit that I was taken in by the avalanche of propaganda in the popular press. Later I read the NAFTA treaty from cover to cover, which was more than our MPs, including the minister in charge had done. It was primarily an investment and power transfer treaty.
Regarding NAFTA – From the outset, the two countries had very different objectives. Canadians wanted just two things: exemption from U.S. dumping and anti-subsidy laws, and a gradual phase in, indeed a back-end loading of tariff eliminations. The U.S. had two demands: immediate abolition of the infamous Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), and a faster implementation of tariff reductions, given the fact that Canadian tariffs were already higher than U.S. tariffs. In the end, the Americans achieved both of their demands. and Canada struck out on both of its two bottom line objectives. We did not get an exemption from U.S. anti-dumping and countervailing duty laws which can and have been applied almost capriciously whenever the American political situation demands, as anyone in the softwood lumber or several other contentious industries can attest. Image below left: J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press
So Canada did not get the “guaranteed access” to U.S. markets that Prime Minister Mulroney had promised, but rich Americans did get their license to acquire Canadian industries and resources which was their chief objective. In retrospect, signing the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and then NAFTA gave us few advantages and many disadvantages. The most profound disadvantage was giving foreign corporations greater rights in Canada than those enjoyed by Canadian citizens. This concept is so foreign to all principles of justice and fair play that our fundamental rights have been permanently violated. But if these two treaties have limited our sovereign rights to make laws for our own safety and well being, CETA, then the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the round of new treaties presently in the works are ten times worse.
These trade deals are designed to effectively end our self-government in favour of trans-national corporations and the international banking cartel and it is imperative that we understand what this means in the real world so that we will reject them totally. CETA is illegal because, in addition to other things, it affects the Canadian parliament’s exclusive jurisdiction over money and banking. Why is that important? Simply because there is no solution to our economic stagnation except the use of significant amounts of government-created debt-free money to dilute the ocean of debt in which we are drowning. Canada is the only country in the world that can put this solution into effect quickly, as we still own the Bank of Canada and can immediately reverse the current economic stagnation with its use in providing debt-free money to all Canadians. We have a moral responsibility to ourselves to use our power for our own benefit, and to transform a ‘ray of hope’ into a ‘beacon of light’ for the world. Image: dolighan.com
Canada spent years negotiating ersatz trade treaties that, on balance, have worsened our situation while desperately trying to patch up the larcenous banking and financial system that has been picking our pockets for centuries. CETA is the tipping point. It is opposed by farmers, professional people and just about everyone who has an inkling of what was in the 1,200-page document. Yet our Canadian government mesmerized by its own propaganda, has signed it and appears hell-bent to ratify it despite the opposition.
When it became clear that the wishes and interests of the majority of the 99% were being ignored, it became obvious that only our courts had the power to save us. So three of us retained Rocco Galati, one of Canada’s best constitutional lawyers, to file an action in federal court to restrain the federal parliament from ratifying and implementing the treaty on the grounds that they do not have the power to do so because, among other objections, CETA would unilaterally amend the Constitution and infringe on the federal parliament’s exclusive jurisdiction over money and banking.
As soon as our action was filed the 1,200-page document was magically transformed into 500 pages and presented as a Bill in the House of Commons awaiting ratification. Meanwhile the lawyer for the government has advised Mr. Galati that they will ask the court to “stay” the action, i.e. to dismiss it. We hope that will not be allowed, but if it should be we will appeal to the Court of Appeal. No matter which side loses then, it will be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada for final resolution.