Explore the Issues
TPP puts profits over patients
Doctors Without Borders
- requires Canada to extend patent terms to brand-name pharmaceutical companies, which could increase the cost of medicine in Canada by $636 million a year
- expands global market access for Big Pharma at monopoly prices dictated by industry
- imposes longer periods of "data exclusivity": rules to delay the approval of generic drugs, including lifesaving medicines like new cancer treatments or vaccines
- the overall effect will be keeping medicine prices high for longer periods, delaying cheaper generic drugs which are vital to public health
- We could be sued for rejecting a drug patent, or banning harmful substances - or even regulating the advertising of stuff that make us sick in the first place, like junk food or sugary drinks
- These types of corporate challenges cost us hundreds of millions. They also create a regulatory chill, making it harder to expand public health programs like Pharmacare
- Involuntary Medication: The Possible Effects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on the Cost and Regulation of Medicine in Canada, by Joel Lexchin, Professor in the School of Health Policy and Management at York University
- Major Complications: The TPP and Canadian Health Care, by Scott Sinclair senior research fellow with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
- Doctors Without Borders, Statement to Canada's Standing Committee on International Trade on the Trans-Pacific Partnership
TPP puts our democracy at risk.
Gus Van Harten
Corporations use ISDS to harass governments and frustrate regulations in areas such as the environment, culture, health, human rights, and conservation.
- ISDS cases take place outside our domestic legal system where for-profit arbitrators can strike down government decisions, and award investors vast amounts of public money.
- Canada is already the most sued developed country using ISDS under similar rules in other agreements - with our environmental regulations the primary target.
- We have spent tens of millions of public dollars paying out damages and compensating billion-dollar corporations for our common-sense policies
- Right now, US company Lone Pine Resources is suing the Quebec government for $250 million for its decision to put a moratorium on fracking
ISDS can cause a regulatory chill:
In 2010, Germany agreed to lower environmental requirements of a coal-fired power plant rather than defend an ISDS claim by Swedish power company, Vattenfall.
U.S. chemical co., Ethyl, challenged a Canadian ban on the import of MMT, a gasoline additive and suspected neurotoxin. Canada had to agree to overturn the ban, pay Ethyl $13 million and publish a statement declaring MMT to be safe.
Rather than learn from this history, Canada will expand these corporate rights to tens of thousands of additional corporations if we join the TPP.
- Foreign investor protections in the Trans-Pacific Partnership by Gus Van Harten, professor at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University
- NAFTA Chapter 11 Investor-State Disputes to January 1, 2015, by Scott Sinclair, Political Director at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
TPP is polluter friendly and it sets us back.
To address the climate crisis, governments need to reject special treatment for multinational corporations and foreign investors in agreements like the TPP.
- Canada has faced multiple corporate challenges against our common-sense environmental regulations using ISDS rules in other agreements.
- Right now, US mining company, Lone Pine Resources, is suing Quebec using ISDS for $250 million because the province put a ban on fracking.
- TransCanada is also suing the US for $15 billion seeking compensation for Obama’s decision to halt the Keystone XL pipeline due to concerns about climate change.
- Canada will expand these investor rights to tens of thousands of additional corporations, including major polluters with the TPP.
- Unlike its investor rights, the few environmental rules in the TPP - around wildlife protection and illegal logging - are unenforceable.
- Oil Corporations vs the climate: How investors use trade agreements to undermine climate action, Briefing Paper 2016 by Lewis, Roche, and Cingotti, of Friends of the Earth, Soerra Club, Council of Canadians
TPP hurts creators and culture
- This could cost consumers $100 million a year, with adverse impacts on students, educators, scholars, and ultimately taxpayers
- The education sector is a large user and creator of copyright content. Extended terms will cost libraries and universities, that that are already financially constrained
- It’s a blow to Canadian heritage: 22 Governor-General award winning authors' works will not enter the public domain for decades
- Restrict Canadian artists and creators making it more difficult to commercialize ideas or produce new works
- Block the tinkering and experimentation critical to open innovation
- Jim Balsillie - former CEO of RIM Technologies says the TPP is the worst deal for Canadian innovators and will put us in the "permanent underclass"
- The Trouble with the TPP: Copyright Term Extension, by Michael Geist, law professor and Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law at the University of Ottawa
- For Canadian innovators, will TPP mean protection – or colonialism? By Jim Balsillie, former co-CEO of Research In Motion and co-founder of the Institute for New Economic Thinking
Small gains and big costs
- 97% of Canadian exports already enter the TPP economies tariff free
- Canada’s economy will grow by a mere 0.28% by 2025 with TPP - a drop in the bucket for our $1.8 trillion economy
- That small boost would be almost completely offset by the $4.3-billion subsidy proposed for the dairy industry, to compensate for its losses under the deal
- The small gain would also be undercut by copyright and patent extensions which could cost us hundreds of millions of dollars a year
- Cost us 58,000 jobs -- 20,000 in the auto sector alone.
- Worsen income inequality in Canada by putting more profits in the hands of the wealthy as workers see their incomes shrink
- Strangle Canada’s prospects in the 21st-century tech & innovation economy, with US-dominated intellectual property rules
- Increase Canada’s trade deficit. More of the products Canada imports from TPP countries would become tariff free than the products we export to them
- Trading Down: Unemployment, Inequality and Other Risks of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, by Capaldo, Izurieta, and Sundaram at Tufts University
- The Impact of TPP Tariff Removal on Canadian Trade by John Jacobs, trade and investment researcher at Carleton University
TPP puts indigenous rights at risk.
Victoria Tauli Corpuz
- TPP would allow for multinational corporations to engage in resource extraction without the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of indigenous communities - a key tenant of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People
- One of the biggest threats is the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism in the TPP.
- ISDS could affect the First Nations on Lelu Island, B.C. who are opposing the extraction liquified natural gas (LNG) by Malaysian company Petronas.
- With the TPP, Petronas could sue the Canadian government in a private tribunal if it were to limit LNG extraction to protect the rights of First Nations to the land, water and local fishing economy.
- ISDS prevents governments from regulating on legitimate concerns for fear that they’ll face a corporate challenge - and in this case could pressure them to side with a resource extraction company over defenders of the land
With the TPP you won't know what you're drinking
Allowing (rBGH) milk on our grocery store shelves TPP makes a mockery of our high food standards.
- rBGH was developed by Monsanto to force cows to yield unnaturally large quantities of milk
- Cows injected with the hormone suffer from more stress and a higher incidence of udder infections, reproductive disorders, and premature death
- Some studies have shown adverse impacts human health
- When polled, neither farmers nor consumers wanted it
- The Canadian government has no plans to label or separate BGH-tainted milk entering Canada
- Milk as an obstacle to the ratification of the TPP, by Brent Patterson, Political Director of the Council of Canadians
TPP could change the way we use the internet
TPP increases liability for breaking “digital locks”. Doing the wrong thing with your e-book or iTunes song could make you liable in criminal law
You could have your computer seized or destroyed for uploading a video or giff that contains copyrighted material, or for transferring tracks from a CD you bought to a smartphone you own
The deal also includes several anti-privacy measures
- Restricts the ability of governments to establish safeguards over sensitive information such as financial and health data.
- Makes your private information accessible in countries with weak oversight or privacy protections -- like the US with its broad surveillance powers under the Patriot Act.
- Gives Internet Service Providers more powers to monitor and report on your online activity
- 'How the TPP Puts Canadian Privacy at Risk' and 'Breaking Digital Locks For Personal Purposes', by Michael Geist, law professor and Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law at the University of Ottawa
How the TPP Will Affect You and Your Digital Rights, Maira Sutton of the Electronic Frontier Foundation