Friday, August 17, 2012

CETA - Trust No One - Part Two

As reported in today's Star, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, after meeting with Stephen Harper, has promised to push for early completion of the gruelling negotiations for a Canada-European Union free trade pact.

While that may hearten those who believe the pact would be an unalloyed blessing for Canada's economy, there are many others, including Canadian municipal governments, that are not so sure:

HARPER SAYS: It’s a myth that CETA would prevent Canada’s municipal governments from sourcing goods and services locally.

WE SAY: The procurement rules in CETA will prohibit any covered government or public agency from preferring one bidding firm over another based on the amount of Canadian or local content in the goods or services that firm is offering. Already procurement, or public spending, is open and transparent in Canada. Already European firms bid on and win major construction and other projects. The only thing CETA does is lock municipalities into one way of spending, where the lowest bid wins every time. It means giving up the right to use procurement as a sustainable development or job creation tool.

Wayne Easter, the Liberal Party's critic for International Trade, expresses similar misgivings about CETA in an article for iPolitics.

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