Sovereignty ‘at risk’ from EU-US trade deal: UK in danger of surrendering judicial independence to multinational corporations, warn activists

By Oliver Wright and Nigel Morris – 14 January 2014

The UK's freedom to tackle climate change, protect consumers or guarantee a publicly run NHS could be jeopardised by a trade deal being negotiated between Europe and the US, MPs and pressure groups have warned.Under a draft plan supported by the European Commission, multinational firms would be given wide-ranging powers to sue EU governments that adopt public policies deemed to “discriminate” against free trade.

 

No more NAFTA - 20 Years is Enough!: Inter-Continental Day of Action, 31

This is a call to action for communities throughout Mexico, Canada and the United States to join together on January 31, 2014, and say "ENOUGH!" to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other corporate "trade" deals. Solidarity actions elsewhere throughout the globe are also welcome.
January 2014 marks the twenty-year anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a pact that has had devastating consequences for working families, small farmers, indigenous peoples, small business and the environment in all three countries and beyond. The pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been described as "NAFTA on Steroids." Four years into the TPP negotiations, this new corporate power grab threatens to:
Destroy livelihoods and accelerate the global race to the bottom in wages and working conditions

How beer explains 20 years of NAFTA’s devastating effects on Mexico

Mexico's largest agribusiness association invited me to Aguascalientes to participate in its annual forum in October. The theme for this year’s gathering was “New Perspectives on the Challenge of Feeding the World.”

But it was unclear why Mexico, which now imports 42 percent of its food, would be worried about feeding the world. It wasn’t doing so well feeding its own people.

In part, you can thank the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for that. Twenty years ago, on January 1, 1994, NAFTA took effect, and Mexico was the poster child for the wonders of free trade. The promises seemed endless.

Economy, Northern Gateway pipeline, top agenda as Stephen Harper goes west

Economy, Northern Gateway pipeline, top agenda as Stephen Harper goes west
By The Canadian Press - CP - Jan 6 2014
OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper will begin the first full week of 2014 trying to keep public attention focused on the economy and touting the benefits of Canada's booming natural resources sector.
The PM is expected to highlight the recently signed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union when he speaks to business leaders today in Vancouver.
An agreement in principle was inked by Harper and European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso in October.
However, ratification of the deal could take another two years.
On the first day of a swing through Western Canada, Harper will take part in a question and answer session with the CEO of Vancouver's Board of Trade.

Quebec CETA petition: Demand to see the text and hold public hearings on Canada-EU corporate rights deal

January 6, 2014  A petition on the National Assembly of Quebec website asks the Quebec government to immediately publish all texts related to the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and to hold "an open, public and inclusive debate" through public consultations and a parliamentary commission. The petition closes February 6, 2014.
BACKGROUND

Why Did it Take So Long to (Sort of) Finalize the CETA?

By Patrick Fafard, January 3, 2014
In the fall of 2013 the Government of Canada finally announced that it had finalized (sort of) an agreement with the European Union for a comprehensive trade and economic agreement. I say "sort of" since all that was released was a general overview of the agreement.
While a number of questions still remain about the agreement, one of the most puzzling (at least for some of us) is why it took so long for Canada and the European Union to come to an agreement.
We believe that one of the reasons it took so long to finalize an agreement is that Ottawa and the provinces did not put in place a formal process for securing provincial approval of the final shape of an agreement.

Australia’s Rejection of Investor-State, from AUSFTA to the Gillard Government’s Trade Policy and the implications for Canada By Janet M Eaton

 December 31st 2013

http://www.commonfrontiers.ca/Single_Page_Docs/PDF_Docs/Jan08_14-AUSFTA-...

Introduction:  This paper places the Australian Labor government’s 2011 policy of Investor -State rejection within the context of the escalating criticism of Investor-State Agreements [ISAs] and the extent to which they are being revisited and rejected by a growing number of countries. It offers insight into how and why the former Labour government of Australia came to its decision to reject Investor -State in its 2011 Trade Policy Statement while considering whether Australia’s policy of Investor-state rejection should be an option for Canada.

We must close the Chicago waterways connections to keep Asian carp from taking over our Great Lakes and beyond before it is too late!

The long awaited report from the US Army Corps of Engineers on how to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes has finally been released. The report evaluates the many waterways connecting the Mississippi River to Lake Michigan –all potential avenues to allow several species of Asian carp into the Great Lakes. The 5 year report costing $20M is titled Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS).

Silver and bighead carp already make up about 95% of the biomass in rivers downstream of the Chicago River. Over a century ago Chicago built a canal to reverse the flow of the Chicago River to divert their sewage and stormwater south into the Mississippi rather than their waterfront beaches. The “reversed” Chicago River flow has been supported by two US Supreme Court decisions.

Ignorance is never an excuse…

First, thank you for your patience and the generous support you’ve shown during our year-end fundraising push. Believe me when I say we don’t like to “push” for donations, but the reality is we have to in order to keep our doors open.

BACK TO WORK

We’re back to work now and I want to talk about mercury pollution.

Most people my age cite Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” when asked how they first became aware of the environment and the need to protect and preserve it. For many, the moment was the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970.

My moment of truth was the mercury poisoning at the Grassy Narrows Reserve in northwest Ontario. Between 1962 and 1970, two First Nations communities’ staple food — fish — had been contaminated with record-high levels of mercury from a chemical plant up the river. But no one knew, and for almost a decade they consumed the poison.