Trudeau: Stop the ratification of CUSMA (the new NAFTA)
TO: Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister CC: Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade
Canada is working “in tandem” with U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration to rush through the ratification of the new trade deal between Canada, the United States and Mexico (CUSMA).
Doing so would shut the door to progressive changes that are in the works to make the new deal better for people and the planet.
Right now, U.S. Democrats are using their majority power in the House of Representatives to push for stronger environmental and labour provisions in this new deal, as well as to reduce protections for pharmaceuticals that lock in higher drug costs for people like you and me, and lock in billions in profit for Big Pharma.
But these much-needed improvements from the U.S. will be harder to achieve if Canada ratifies the deal as-is in the coming weeks.
While CUSMA is better than its predecessor, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), it is still rife with problems including:
Canadian dairy farmers would be sacrificed to allow U.S. dairy products into our grocery stores, including milk from cows injected with genetically-engineered bovine growth hormone. The provisions around
environmental protections are still far too weak. It will allow the federal government to subsidize the TransMountain pipeline forever. It also fails to address the climate and water crises. The
rights and protections for workers are still inadequate. You will see an
increase to the cost of prescription drugs.
Foreign and domestic corporations would be granted greater rights to monitor and change Canadian regulations to their benefit on a wide range of public policies.
In short, CUSMA is still a corporate rights deal that requires significant changes.
But there is still a chance to make the deal better for people and the planet –
but only if we all come together to demand it.
Call on the Trudeau government to do the right thing and put the brakes on ratifying CUSMA.