42,000 Steel, Auto Jobs at Risk

Despite promising “real change” more than a year ago, the federal Liberals are moving forward with the previous government’s secret trade deals that will kill tens of thousands of middle-class jobs.

The Liberals are using public “consultations” to actively promote the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an agreement that threatens 60,000 good Canadian jobs, will harm the environment and will lead to greater inequality in our country.

Research indicates the TPP will cost thousands of jobs in Canada’s automobile industry, which accounts for one-third of all demand for Canadian-made steel. The TPP will allow more sourcing of steel from countries like China which have flooded the Canadian market with illegally subsidized steel.

42,000 Steel, Auto Jobs at Risk

Up to 42,000 automotive and steel workers in Canada are at risk of losing their jobs from the TPP.

The Liberals are also working aggressively on the international stage for passage of a Canada-Europe agreement, known as CETA, that threatens thousands more Canadian jobs, our health care and public services and that will lead to huge increases in prescription drug costs.

Both the TPP and CETA were negotiated in secret, largely guided by the interests and demands of multinational corporations and wealthy elites.

These agreements will allow corporations to sue Canadian governments – in secret tribunals – whenever these corporations claim they are adversely affected by laws enacted by our democratically elected governments to protect workers, communities, public services or the environment.

Canada Most-Sued Nation

Canada already is the most widely sued developed country in the world under so-called  investor rights rules of existing trade agreements.

A growing number of Canadians are speaking out against the TPP and CETA. Like most Canadians, Steelworkers are not anti-trade, but we oppose bad agreements that benefit the wealthy few, USW leaders stated in a brief submitted to the federal Standing Committee on International Trade.

“We believe that trade as an instrument of economic policy can forge a new approach; one that would lift wages up rather than push them down, one that would reduce our growing trade deficit, one that would promote domestic manufacturing and employment rather than more outsourcing and offshoring, one that would begin to reverse the widening gap of income  inequality.”

*CETA was signed by Canada and the EU on Oct. 30, 2016. Opposition to the agreement continues as national and regional parliaments must ratify the deal before it can come into effect. 

This article appears in the November 2016 edition of USW@Work magazine. 

USW Submission Opposes the TPP

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