100 signatures reached
To: Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, President of the Board of Trade
Stop the CETA corporate power grab
Please don't vote to take us into CETA. The investor-state dispute settlement rules mean trading our democratic values for corporate profits.
Why is this important?
The secret negotiations for CETA (official name: Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) between Canada and the European Union have already been concluded, without consulting any of us! - Even though Canada and the EU have been negotiating this so-called “next generation free trade and investment pact" behind closed doors since May 2009. But CETA is better understood as another corporate power grab.
If signed, CETA will give multinational corporations the right to sue countries for loss of profits in secret courts of arbitration if those countries seek, for example, to pass laws to prevent fracking, to regulate prices, or to raise the minimum wage. Also (like TTIP), CETA will enable the multinationals to pressurise communities to privatise basic public services like water systems, transport and energy - and much more.
As the social justice organisation the Council of Canadians points out: "The secret negotiating process, as well as the overall corporate agenda behind next generation deals are an affront to democracy on both sides of the Atlantic."
If all this sounds horribly familiar, it's because CETA would have exactly the same adverse effects on our society and economy as TTIP - the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership planned between the USA and Europe (for further info on TTIP, see the 38 degrees campaign and petition to stop TTIP).
Here are some examples of current cases arising from other, very similar "free trade agreements" that are already in force. Tobacco giant Philip Morris is suing Australia for billions of dollars in lost profits because the Australian government took action to reduce teenage smoking by stipulating plain packaging for cigarettes. Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly is suing Canada for $400 million because Canada has introduced laws to keep essential medications affordable.
Worst of all, those proceedings are being held in secret international courts to which only corporations have access, in accordance with "investor-state dispute settlement rules" which also apply to CETA (and to TTIIP). This basically gives greedy corporations power over our social values, our legislative procedures and our trading standards. That's why CETA must be stopped now!
To quote the corporation-loving TheCityUK website: "Canadian and the EU officials have agreed a complete CETA text, to be initialled at the EU-Canada Summit in Ottawa on 25 September 2014."... (That's only weeks away!)... "The gains to be had from the EU-Canada CETA are potentially very large." ...(Yes, you can bet they are - but only for big business!)... "The agreement – all 1,500 pages of it - now needs to be translated into all EU languages and reviewed by lawyers. Once approved by the EU’s 28 member-states and Canada’s ten provinces it will then be formally signed (probably in 2015). It is expected to be ratified by the EU's 28 member states and the Canadian provinces in the course of 2016."
So big business is very confident that this undemocratic deal is going to go through, to the huge benefit of its profits. But if enough of us raise our voices and raise awareness about CETA, we can still force our politicians to think again about selling us out to big business. Please sign the petition to stop CETA.
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