By Henry McRandall
It was rather startling to hear Liberal Prime Minister Photo-Op (Justin) Trudeau announce at the opening of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that Canada has now agreed to sign on to yet another job-killing
and environmentally destructive so-called “free trade” deal – the TPP, now renamed – for some bizarre reason – the CPTPP or something.
Truth be told, the only thing that’s “free” about these corporate-style international trade deals is the movement of investment capital amongst countries at the reckless whim of the Ownership Class or Top1%. And, subsequently, for the captured (by the Top1%) governments and the exploited working class in the various “partner” countries, it’s the torture and the torment of being subjected to brutal economic blackmail by soul-less billionaires and mega-millionaires who have never actually created any wealth but have derived their wealth by skimming profit off the labour of the working class.
And let us also not forget the trials and tribulations Canada’s woefully-inept Global Affairs Minister, Crystia Freeland, has endured in attempting to simultaneously re-negotiate NAFTA with Donald Trump’s gangster regime.
It came as no surprise – shortly after Trudeau’s ill-advised announcement – that Unifor leader Jerry Dias denounced the deal, pointing out the concessions granted to Asian automakers could lead to the loss of thousands of high-wage Canadian auto sector jobs.
If more than a quarter of a century of lamentable experience with NAFTA and other sordid and sorry corporate-style, so-called “free trade” deals has taught us nothing else,
it should certainly have taught us that these rigged deals serve no other real purpose than to convert high-wage Canadian working-class and middle-class wages into even greater windfalls for the immorally and illicitly wealthy Top 1% – AT THE EXPENSE OF EVERYONE ELSE.
The time is long past due for Canada to cease being simply a “hewer of wood and drawer of water” for the rest of the world and to re-invent its economy to be primarily a provider of goods and services for Canadians.
That’s not to say that we should abandon foreign trade. On the contrary, by reasons of geography and demography, Canada is uniquely positioned to steer the world away from corporate-style “free-trade” scams and toward worldwide trade based on rigorous environmental protection and the enrichment NOT of the wealthy predators who prey on the masses but of the rank-and-file frontline WORKERS WHO ACTUALLY CREATE ALL WEALTH.
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