Laval, August 5, 2015 – We learnt last week that negotiations to put in place the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) failed, specifically because of opposition from trade union and farmers to a proposed change of the dairy industry’s supply management system.
This mechanism, which helps keep a balance between supply and demand, helps control the price fluctuations. It was put in place during the 1970s to give dairy producers more stability and generate tens of thousands of good jobs in Canada. The TPP would abolish the supply management system.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would “liberalize” commerce and investments between 12 countries located on the pacific rim, would be the world’s largest free zone with over 800 million consumers.
The federal government says they want to do away with tariff and non-tariff barriers to help put foreign dairy products on Canadian soil, stimulate innovation and lower the price of certain goods. Unfortunately, there’s no actual proof behind any of these statements. It’s why this treaty is becoming quite the hot potato for the Conservative Party.
“There’s no guarantee that an eventual partnership could have positive impacts on Canadian industry,” says the President of Teamsters Canada, François Laporte. “I hope federal officials understand they’ve got quite the hot potato on their hands.”
The TPP has suddenly become an election issue because it could threaten tens of thousands of well-paying jobs which benefit the whole country. The fact that the negotiations have been conducted in secret and behind closed doors has only made workers more suspicious.
“These workers pay taxes to build hospitals, hire doctors, fix roads and send children to school,” said François Laporte. “Can we really allow the weakening, or maybe even the disappearance, of this entire industry? It would impoverish thousands of Canadian families.”
The President of Teamsters Canada also deplores how these negotiations have been conducted behind closed doors. They stand to have an impact on tens of thousands of Canadian workers who were never even consulted.
Teamsters Canada represents more than 6,000 dairy workers and in excess of 120,000 workers total across a broad array of industries that could be affected by the still-secret trade agreement.
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Stéphane Lacroix, Director of Public Relations
Email: [email protected]