CETA Endgame Brings Panic and Revisionist History

A report in from a German social democratic newspaper brought some last minute scrambling from politicians on vacation here in North America. However, even if corporate-rights provisions were not included in CETA, it is still a bad deal for working people in Canada and the EU.

Page content

Revisionist history flowed freely from the corporate media after reports in a German newspaper that their government would not sign the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) if it contained Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) – also known as corporate-rights provisions. For a few hours during the confusion, it was spun that CETA was simply about reducing tariffs on goods and this was always good enough. For anyone following the debate on CETA this might come as a shock that CETA would be fine without ISDS provisions given that tariff reduction plays a small bit part in the negotiations.

A review of their panic was put together by Jim Stanford of Unifor – The Union – on the Progressive Economic forum: Free Traders Panic Over German Challenge to Investor-State Dispute-Settlement

However, after the German government has clarified its position now saying it would sign the deal, the media hasshifted back into their previousposition that the economic deal which undermines all sorts of Canadian sovereignty will create a mythical (and bogus) 80,000 jobs and a $12 billion boost to the economy. The reality, as with all “free trade” deals, is that it will likely destroy as many jobs as it creates (if it create any).

These deals are not about jobs but are about increasing the rate of privatization of publicly owned infrastructure and services to increase profit for capitalists. Like with NAFTA, any benefits will go to the top of earners and working people will lose out.

The deal will be signed (yet again?) like last September. Look for more nonsense coming from the Harper Government (and likely the opposition parties) on how radical free trade and economic agreements with Europe is a good thing – despite all the evidence to the contrary.