Canada’s lackluster performance under CETA should be a lesson

In July, several members of Parliament—including NDP and Green leaders Jagmeet Singh and Elizabeth May—sent a letter to French legislators urging them not to ratify the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). “We agree that trade between our countries and continents is important,” it read. “However, we believe in…
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Envisioning a progressive trade agenda for the 21st century

The extraordinary surge in popular support for expanding public health care, a “Green New Deal” and other progressive policies demonstrates a powerful public appetite for meaningful social change. Decades of neoliberal austerity and “the market made me do it” politics, which boosted inequality in most countries, have also created pent-up…
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Canadian mining companies are behaving badly in the Global South—and Wall Street is profiting from it

Of the limited changes made to the renegotiated NAFTA agreement—also known as the USMCA—perhaps the most significant relates to the system of investor protections that permits foreign firms to challenge government policies, laws and court decisions through private arbitration. Under the USMCA, this investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system will no…
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The New NAFTA is a missed opportunity for gender equality

The recent renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement presented a unique opportunity to rethink the dominant model for governing international trade and investment. At the outset of the “New NAFTA” talks in August 2017, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland outlined the government’s priorities under the umbrella of a…
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Big business asked for deregulation; Morneau delivered in spades

Earlier this year, the Chamber of Commerce released yet another report on how public protections and other regulatory requirements are undermining Canadian competitiveness—and how the government should go about deregulating to make life easier for businesses big and small. Though it wasn’t directly tied to the Trump administration’s massive gutting…
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The New NAFTA – What’s the Deal with Energy?

In the aftermath of the USMCA negotiations, the Trudeau government chalked up two significant “wins” for environmental protection and Canadian sovereignty: the elimination of investor state dispute settlement (ISDS), at least in the Canada-U.S. context, and the disappearance of NAFTA’s so-called proportionality clause in the energy chapter. The latter is…
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Why high U.S. drug prices matter to Canada

In the mid-1970s the average monthly cost of a cancer drug in the United States was about $100. By 1995 that cost had crept up to about $1,800 per month and today it is over $10,000. Similarly, while drugs for multiple sclerosis introduced in the mid-1990s cost about $8,000 per…
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