International trade and investment, deep integration

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Illustration by Remie Geoffroi Can we finally admit it? The world really does love Justin Trudeau.
The Trudeau government has shone internationally on a progressive message of tolerance, openness, diversity and inclusive, sustainable economic growth. It says it wants to make globalization fair for everyone, and that, as the prime minister tweeted, Canada welcomes all people “fleeing persecution, terror & war.” But on a number of files the government has bent itself into a pretzel trying to square its beliefs with its actions. An underlying theme throughout this issue of the Monitor is the empty gesture.
Global Affairs Canada is consulting Canadians on their priorities for, and concerns about, the planned renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In CCPA’s submission to this process, Scott Sinclair, Stuart Trew and Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood point out how NAFTA has failed to live up to its promise with respect to job and productivity growth, and clearly has not shielded Canada from unilateral U.S. trade actions that hurt Canadian exports.
This study, co-published with the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, examines the adverse impacts on public services and public interest regulation of the little-known Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), quietly being negotiated in Geneva by a group of 23 governments, including Canada. Senior CCPA trade researcher Scott Sinclair argues that under the guise of expanding international trade in services, TiSA will make it much harder for governments to regulate vital services such as energy, water, banking, transport and online services.
Theo Moudakis (Artizans)
This report investigates the tariff impacts on Canadian exports if the U.S. Trump administration made good on repeated threats to terminate the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), forcing Canadian exporters to fall back to World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and tariff rates. The general impacts are surprisingly modest, although some sectors facing tariff peaks would be hit harder. Based on 2016 trade figures, reverting from NAFTA to WTO bound tariff rates would have resulted in, at most, $US4.2 billion in extra tariff costs (1.5% of the value of Canadian exports to the U.S.
OTTAWA—New research from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives reveals that a potential U.S. withdrawal from the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) would not have a major impact on tariffs on Canadian exports to the U.S. This means Canada’s hand at looming NAFTA renegotiations is stronger than often assumed.
Global Affairs Canada is currently consulting Canadians on a possible Canada-China free trade agreement. In CCPA’s submission to this process, CCPA senior researcher Scott Sinclair argues that an FTA based on Canada’s standard template would almost certainly reinforce rather than improve upon Canada’s imbalanced and deleterious trade with China.
MEXICO CITY—On the heels of Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland’s visit to Mexico City to discuss NAFTA renegotiations with politicians and business leaders, civil society groups are holding their own parallel talks in the city May 26 to 28.
Business lobby groups have long complained of different consumer protection and health measures creating unreasonable “barriers” to trade and investment. They have now identified international co-operation, with industry input at the earliest stages of regulatory development, as the next great leap forward to shape globalization according to their interests.

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