Harper Should Join US Call to Pull the Plug on NAFTA

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 02/27/2008 - 6:42pm.

 Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's announcement yesterday that the Harper government would allocate $29 million toward "a stronger North American Partnership" is out of step with growing calls in Canada, the United States and Mexico to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement and pull out of the Security and Prosperity Partnership, says the Council of Canadians.

With leading Democratic contenders Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton openly repudiating the North American Free Trade Agreement for its poor labour and environmental standards, the Council of Canadians is demanding that the Canadian government revisit its own commitment to a trade relationship that puts corporate profits before the public interest and the environment.


"This is an opportunity for our government to recognize that NAFTA and the SPP have undermined our ability to protect the environment, social programs and labour rights," says Maude Barlow, the national chairperson of the Council of Canadians. "In continuing to defend the existing trade model despite growing public outcry in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, the Harper government is demonstrating that it is a prisoner of corporate lobbying."


Both Clinton and Obama have declared that they would withdraw from NAFTA within six months after taking office failing a complete renegotiation of the trade deal, including the controversial dispute settlement mechanism.


In contrast, Flaherty touted NAFTA as a source of North American prosperity yesterday and declared that "Canadian companies must continue to profit from the commercial benefits of NAFTA, particularly as they strive to compete in North American and world markets."


The Council of Canadians will be taking its message to New Orleans in April when it joins other social justice and environmental groups to oppose the SPP Leaders' Summit bringing together the heads of state of Canada, the United States and Mexico.


Council of Canadians - February 27, 2008 - posted at www.commondreams.org

CONTACT: Council of Canadians
AIUSA press office, 202-544-0200 x302

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 02/27/2008 - 6:42pm.