Liberals Must Step Back from Job-Killing CPTPP: Steelworkers

OTTAWA – Amidst the turmoil of a tariff war and trade negotiations with a hostile U.S. administration, it is unacceptable that the federal Liberal government is pushing ahead with the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – a flawed trade deal projected to kill 58,000 Canadian jobs.

“It is inconceivable that the Liberal government wants to ram through the CPTPP, a trade deal so badly flawed that it compromises the positions Canada must defend at this very moment in the highly sensitive NAFTA renegotiations with the U.S. and Mexico,” said Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers (USW) National Director.

“If the CPTPP is implemented, Canadians will lose middle-class livelihoods in our auto, steel, skilled trades and supply-management sectors,” Neumann said.

“As with other unbalanced trade deals, the CPTPP will give multinational corporations the power to sue various levels of Canadian governments for enacting laws and regulations that protect our environment, food safety and other public interests. Canadians will have no recourse to oppose such challenges, which are heard in unaccountable, secret tribunals headed by international trade lawyers,” he said.

“The CPTPP is yet another corporate rights agreement that will eliminate good jobs, erode Canada’s manufacturing and industrial base, drive down wages and weaken labour standards, increase inequality and worsen global environmental challenges. The agreement does not even mention the words ‘climate change,’ ” Neumann said.

“The Liberal government must abandon its haste to adopt the CPTPP and listen to Canadians whose jobs are threatened and who oppose this destructive deal,” he said.

During the public consultation process on the CPTPP, more than 60,000 Canadians submitted written comments – 95% of whom were opposed to the agreement.

Neumann pointed to the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which has led to a worsening trade imbalance for Canada since the deal came into effect last year.

“Since CETA came into effect, there has been a flood of imports from CETA countries into Canada, while Canadian exports to these same countries have decreased,” he said.

“The effects of the CPTPP will be much worse for Canada’s economy and Canadian jobs. The Liberal government must step back from this potentially devastating agreement,” he added.

“In light of the critical status of NAFTA renegotiations, the Canadian government must demonstrate its commitment to defending Canadian workers, our key domestic industries and our economic sovereignty.”

Key Facts

  • The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership was secretly negotiated by Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
  • The agreement was negotiated with little transparency or accountability, with Canadians left in the dark about the government's agenda. Even as they currently debate legislation aimed at implementing the CPTPP, Canadian Members of Parliament have not been given the full text of the agreement to review.
  • Canada’s Liberal government never even bothered to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the agreement’s potential impact on Canadian jobs.
  • A study by researchers from Tufts University in the U.S. concluded the deal would cost Canada 58,000 jobs and increase income inequality.


For further information:

Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, bgallagher@usw.ca

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