Stop Trump’s NAFTA tantrum

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Hello everyone! Donald Trump is trying to strong-arm Canada’s government into a foolhardy North American Free Trade Alliance (NAFTA) deal that raises experts’ concerns about several things:

  • The environment 
    Trump wants Canada and Mexico to back him on increasing use of fossil fuels and fracking.[1] We already know fossil fuels are a cause of climate change.[2]
  • Biologics 
    Biologics are a new class of pharmaceuticals made from human and animal tissue, including microorganisms.[3],[4] Trump wants to raise US patents on biologics to 10 years, which will make these drugs very expensive outside the US.[5] Now, whether we should even have biologics and how to regulate them is a whole other kettle of fish, but having just one country in control of them—well that sounds like a terrible idea.
  • Privacy 
    Trump is dictating that "limits on where data can be stored and processed are minimized"[6] in the new NAFTA, which basically means information about individuals in Canada and Mexico could be stored on computer servers in the US.[7] At that point, Canadian and Mexican laws may not protect this information.[8] It could be extremely complicated for people outside the US to challenge abuses, should they take place. For example, tech giant Microsoft has filed four different lawsuits about just one person’s emails[9]—most individuals don’t have the resources to do that, even if they live in the US and can access American courts.
  • Financial Crash 2.0
    Trump wants to "liberalize financial services markets and facilitate a level playing field for U.S. financial institutions."[10] That could mean trashing the strong regulations that kept Canada afloat through the 2008 financial crash, while other western countries, including the US, floundered.
  • Farmers’ livelihoods and food supply
    Trump wants to scrap the way Canada regulates our supply management system. Basically, the US government’s approach is to subsidize agriculture, while the Canadian government’s approach is to regulate agricultural production.[11] It’s not immediately clear why Trump wants this.

Trump has adopted his usual dictatorial approach,[12] repeatedly saying he’s going to cut Canada out of NAFTA if Prime Minister Trudeau and Foreign Minister Freeland don’t agree to his terms.[13],[14],[15] But both Trump’s NAFTA[16] and no NAFTA[17] are shoddy options for the Canadian economy. Make your voice heard. Tell our government that you want them to keep working for a strong, fair NAFTA that protects Canadians’ rights and interests.

Let’s show Trump that although we’re sparsely populated, we can stand firm against his tantrums. 

 

Want to follow up after signing the petition?
Here are some options. Extra points for sending Trump a fun fact about Canada. Click here for ideas.

Government of Canada contacts:
Click here to email the Rt. Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs Canada. 
Click here to contact the Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada.
Click here to contact your MP.

Assembly of First Nations contacts:
Click here to contact National Chief Perry Bellegarde.
Click here and scroll down to find your Regional Chief.
Click here to contact your Provincial / Territorial Organization.

Whitehouse contact:
Click here
to contact President Donald Trump.

 

Suggested text for follow-up: 

Hello Minister Freeland, Prime Minister Trudeau, National Chief Bellegarde, honourable Regional Chiefs and honourable Members of Parliament:

Subject: Stop Trump’s NAFTA Tantrum

I am very concerned about Donald Trump trying to bully Canada into a shoddy NAFTA deal. Thank you for your hard work to protect the rights and interests of people in Canada and the global community!

Please know I have signed a petition to raise public awareness of the dangers posed by the US President's trumped up demands. However, as this is an urgent matter, I am contacting you directly as well.

I support you in continuing to justly and honourably represent the public. In particular, please know that I am concerned about the potential damage Trump's demands pose to:

- the environment,
- access to medical treatment (specifically, biologics),
- privacy,
- financial regulations, and
- our supply management system.

More information is available at https://chn.ge/2oBCNqA.

Sincerely, 

name:
phone:
email:
postal code:

  

End notes

[1] Barlow and Dey
[2] NASA
[3] Biotechnology Innovation Organization
[4] FDA
[5] Barlow and Dey
[6] Barlow and Dey
[7] Barlow and Dey
[8] Ko and Ng, introduction, para. 2; “Data mapping”, para. 2
[9] Smith
[10] Barlow and Dey
[11] Barlow and Dey
[12] BBC, “Any other trade issues?”
[13] Barlow and Dey
[14] McGregor
[15] Lilly
[16] Barlow and Dey
[17] Lilly 

  

References

Barlow, Maude and Sujata Dey. “Who needs NAFTA? Canada can do without it”. CBC News. Aug 29, 2018. https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/nafta-negotiations-1.4802486

BBC. “Nafta: US-Canada trade talks break up without a deal”. BBC News. Aug 31, 2018. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45375178?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/c2gze9jgp0gt/nafta&link_location=live-reporting-story

Biotechnology Innovation Organization. “How do drugs and biologics differ?” 2018. https://www.bio.org/articles/how-do-drugs-and-biologics-differ

FDA. “What are ‘biologics’ questions and answers”. Feb 6, 2018. https://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofMedicalProductsandTobacco/CBER/ucm133077.htm

Ko, Jimmy and Weng Yee Ng. “The Geopolitics of Data Transfer: What Do Companies Need to Consider When Managing Conflicts of Law in a Global Investigation?” Global Investigations Review. May 29, 2018. https://globalinvestigationsreview.com/chapter/1170027/the-geopolitics-of-data-transfer-what-do-companies-need-to-consider-when-managing-conflicts-of-law-in-a-global-investigation

Lilly, Meredith. “For Canada, a bad NAFTA deal is better than no deal at all”. CBC News. Aug 28, 2018. https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/nafta-canada-1.4800838

McGregor, Janyce. “Trump announces U.S.-Mexico trade deal to replace NAFTA, and says ‘we will see’ if Canada can join”. CBC News. Aug 27, 2018. https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/nafta-us-mexico-progress-monday-1.4800182

NASA. “Causes”. Global climate change: Vital signs of the planet. Accessed Aug 29, 2018. https://climate.nasa.gov/causes/

Pexels. [image credit]. https://www.pexels.com/photo/animals-bill-ducks-farm-357169/

Smith, Brad. “The CLOUD Act is an important step forward, but now more steps need to follow”. Microsoft On the Issues. Apr 3, 2018. https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2018/04/03/the-cloud-act-is-an-important-step-forward-but-now-more-steps-need-to-follow/



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