The Next Phase of North American Integration. NAFTA to be Swallowed up by the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)?

by Dana Gabriel, January 28, 2014  In preparation for the upcoming North American Leaders Summit which will be held in Toluca, Mexico on February 19, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently held a meeting with his Canadian and Mexican counterparts. Over the last number of years, not as much attention has been given to the trilateral relationship. Instead, the U.S. has essentially pursued a dual-bilateral approach with both Canada and Mexico on key issues including border and continental perimeter security, as well as regulatory and energy cooperation. On the heels of its 20th anniversary, there once again appears to be renewed interest in broadening and deepening the NAFTA partnership as part of the next phase of North American integration.

WTO: U.S. Challenges India's Solar Industry, Again

By Ilana Solomon,Director, Responsible Trade Program, Sierra Club and Justin Guay, Associate Director, Sierra Club International Climate Change Program. February 18th, 2014.

On February 10, the United States filed a World Trade Organization (WTO) complaint against India. The allegation? That India may be unfairly supporting the development of its solar manufacturing industry. This misguided complaint will only further enflame tensions between the world's two largest democracies over an issue we all support: deploying more clean energy.

Obama Mexico Visit Spotlights 20-Year Legacy of Job Loss from NAFTA, the Pact on Which Obama's TPP Is Modeled

Eyes on Trade Blog: New Public Citizen Report Catalogs the Negative NAFTA Outcomes That Are Fueling Opposition to Obama Push to Fast Track TPP.  The 20-year record of job loss and trade deficits from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is haunting President Barack Obama’s efforts to obtain special trade authority to fast track the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), said Public Citizen as it released a new report that comprehensively documents NAFTA’s outcomes.

Corporate rights under serious scrutiny in Europe. Canada fast asleep.

by Blair Redlin ·February 4th, 2014.  On Feb. 3rd, I made a presentation in Vancouver to the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade on the proposed Canada/E.U. trade deal (C.E.T.A.). I was there on behalf of CUPE B.C.
The Committee, chaired by Alberta Conservative M.P. Rob Merrifield, was in B.C. to review both C.E.T.A. and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (T.P.P.)

France says investor-state provision not needed in TTIP

Agence Europe reports, "France believes that a state to state dispute settlement mechanism is enough under the transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP). ...France 'is not in favour' of including in the agreement a settlement mechanism for disputes between the investor and state, as (French minister for trade Nicole) Bricq believes that a state to state dispute mechanism 'is enough'. France is not alone on this issue - Germany is also 'very reluctant', Bricq says."
Photo: French trade minister Nicole Bricq. Photo from SIPA.

The news report also says, "Bricq welcomed the (European) Commission's initiatives to ensure more transparency in the negotiations via a consultative experts' group at the European level and the launch of a public consultation on the protection of investments."

Autosaurus Rex: A story of dinosaurs

Should a CBC radio and television commentator be accepting speaking fees for pro-Tar Sands speeches on the side without publicly disclosing the financial conflict of interest to viewers? Should a national newspaper consider--let alone sign--a strategic partnership with the oil industry (a.k.a. Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers) to produce content? Would such a move render the paper a non-news organization? Should it?

These two stories emerged over the last week and received almost no attention in the media. There has to be a better explanation than Olympic coverage eating up air time.

We’re all familiar with the National Post’s ‘tendencies’ (sorry Terrence) so I wasn’t overly shocked with the latter. But I have to say I was taken aback by the news about Rex Murphy.

Investor-State: Infinito Gold files lawsuit against Costa Rican government over canceled gold mining contract

Zach Dyer. The Tico Times Feb 10.   After months of saber rattling, Infinito Gold, Ltd. announced Monday that it had filed for a Request for Arbitration with a World Bank court in its protracted dispute with the Costa Rican government over the canceled Las Crucitas gold mining concession. The concession was revoked in 2010 following environmental concerns and doubts about the concession’s legality. 

TNI Insights into the Power of Corporations (re Corporate impunity, Lex Mercatoria, FTAs, Global Redesign Initiative & Alternatives )

22 January 2014,Brid Brennan.  Transnational corporations, particularly gas & oil industry, and banking have continued to benefit extraordinarily from the ongoing economic and financial crisis, says Brid Brennan, who presents TNI's State of Power Report 2014 at the Public Eye Awards in Davos.

A speech by Brid Brennan, at the Public Eye Awards Press Conference, Davos, Switzerland January 23, 2014