TORONTO, June 21, 2012 /CNW/ - The Harper Conservatives' eagerness to
join Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations is a threat to
Canadians, given the government's atrocious record on environmental
standards, labour rights and public accountability.
"The Harper Conservatives have a clear agenda - unwavering support for
transnational corporations, dismantling our environmental protections,
attacking workers' rights and a complete disregard for public
accountability," said Ken Neumann, Canadian Director of the United
Steelworkers (USW) union.
"Given this appalling record, a Trans-Pacific trade deal could be
another avenue for Harper to give special privileges to foreign
investors while attacking our labour and environmental standards,"
After two years of lobbying by the Harper Conservatives, Canada has been
invited to join the TPP trade negotiations with countries including the
United States, Australia, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and
Canada already has trade deals with three current TPP members, while the
other six TPP members combined account for below one per cent of
Canada's exports, Neumann noted. Any conceivable increase in exports to
these markets would be insignificant in terms of total Canadian output
"Canada should not enter into the TPP unless the Harper government makes
an unequivocal commitment to the promotion of quality jobs, sustainable
development and labour rights," Neumann said.
"Canada has a poor record for transparency when it comes to trade
agreements, which are increasingly negotiated in secret without any
significant public consultation," he said.
"Our government must commit to meaningful consultation with the Canadian
public, civil society groups and trade unions. Agreements of this
importance must be put to a vote in the House of Commons."
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
Ken Neumann, USW National Director for Canada, 416-544-5951
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, email@example.com