Laval, October 5th, 2015 – The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is now a done deal. This new free-trade agreement was negotiated behind closed doors and Canadians knew nothing of its negative impacts, at least, not before today.
“Talks began ten years ago. The Prime Minister should have regularly reported on the negotiating process instead of keeping voters in the dark for years,” criticizes François Laporte, President of Teamsters Canada. “The Conservatives did not have the mandate to negotiate this agreement seeing as it had not been a focus of the 2011 election campaign.”
Under the TPP, the supply management system regarding milk, eggs and poultry will be “partially opened up to foreign countries over a five-year period.” According to the media, the Canadian government will provide new compensation programs to help out producers negatively impacted by the agreement. Taxpayers will thus be paying out $4.3 billion to dairy farmers.
“Once again, taxpayers will be bearing the costs,” adds the union leader. “After having lost hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs, can Canada afford to lose yet more jobs in a key sector such as the dairy industry or in other industries?”
The key question is now to determine if and how the TPP will benefit Canadian consumers, as claimed by federal government officials.
“The Teamsters Union will not accept that its members be forced to make concessions to allow Canada to remain artificially competitive in the Trans-Pacific economic area,” warns François Laporte. “If the workers we represent dispose of less income, their purchasing power and ultimately their contribution to society will decrease accordingly. We can’t build this country on low-wages.”
The Teamsters represent 120,000 members in Canada in all industries. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.
Stéphane Lacroix, Director of Public Relations
Cell: 514 609-5101
Email: [email protected]
Authorized by the official agent for Teamsters Canada.