PRESS RELEASE: Harper Government’s Failing Free Trade Strategy

Fox Creek, AB - July 10th
Last week Canada was host to negotiations surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The meetings were held in secret and were not even open to federal ministers. Meanwhile the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) as well as Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act (FIPA) remain stalled. One of Prime Minister Harper’s only free trade successes has been the free trade agreement with South Korea. At this point what was going to be Harper’s legacy of greater free with the world is at serious risk.
If these trade agreements fall through Harper will have only himself to blame; he promised too much. As a result he has tried to do too much too fast. The trade agreement with South Korea was successfully negotiated precisely because it stuck to free trade issues and was limited in scope. The TPP and CETA proposals have ballooned into massive agreements touching on all areas of economic activity and include contentious issues that have nothing to do with free trade such as corporate sovereignty, intellectual property law, and geographic indicators.
“Even if the Prime Minister somehow manages to finish negotiations before the 2015 election, by no means assured, the complete secrecy that has surrounded these negotiations means he will be facing all of the criticism over the contentious issues in the lead-up to the election”, says James Wilson, Leader of the Pirate Party of Canada. “I am starting to think Prime Minister Harper enjoys the pain his aversion to transparency brings him. He ought to finally realize transparancy can work in his own interest just as well as the publics”. The Pirate Party of Canada urges the government to begin working immediately to open up the TPP and CETA negotiations to the public.
The Pirate Party of Canada is a federal political party focused on thoughtful information policy reform, genuine democracy, civil liberties, and the freedom of the Internet. You can find out more online at .
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