I would like to voice my concern over the secretive Canada-China Foreign Investment Protection Agreement (FIPA), which could be ratified by our prime minister in the coming weeks.
Unlike previous trade agreements that Canada has entered into, FIPA allows foreign companies to sue Canadian federal, provincial and municipal governments through secret tribunals outside of the Canadian court system. Through this unprecedented procedure, FIPA would allow Chinese companies to hold Canadian governments accountable for any perceived limits to their profit, even those that may happen due to Canadian environmental protection and job creation policies. Such unrestrictive trade agreements remove a government’s power to ensure that trade and economic growth is conducted responsibly and benefits its citizens. FIPA and other extreme trade deals can also be very costly to taxpayers. Belgium is currently facing a $3 billion suit launched by one of China’s companies through a similar agreement. The Conservatives are planning to sign the Canada-China Foreign Investment Protection Agreement without any debate or even a discussion in Parliament. Once signed, the agreement will last for 31 years. This trade deal simply does not make sense. It undermines the ability of Canadian governments to protect Canadian workers and our environment and hands over control of our natural resources to foreign companies. We should expect anddemand more from our government than a sellout.