On Free Trade

Even among left wing parties and progressive politicians trade is worshipped as the saviour of the world, but perhaps we should ask ourselves Is Trade Evil ?

After we do that we can consider the question of free trade and free trade agreements.

We need to seriously look at the so-called free trade agreements for what they are. They certainly do not guarantee free trade. What they guarantee are rights to corporations over sovereign countries with things like investor state dispute provisions that allow corporations to sue countries for passing legislation in the public interest that offends the multinational corporations rights to maximize their profits.

So what could real free trade look like. One option would be absolute free trade. Eliminate all tariffs and non-tariff barriers. Provide no artificial advantages to domestic products or corporations. Provide no, intentional or otherwise, advantages to foreign products or corporations.

Any goods could be sold in Canada, subject equally to any forms of taxation applied, regardless of country of origin, as long as the goods are produced subject to health and safety, environmental, and labour standards (minimum wages, collective bargaining and workers rights provisions, etc.) equivalent to those required of goods produced in Canada.

That would be true free trade.

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