Recent leaks from the negotiations between Canada and EU confirm concerns that a comprehensive economic and trade agreement (CETA) would infringe on Manitoba’s ability to promote economic development and advance public interests. The proposed precedent-setting agreement would expand investor rights and extend the reach of international economic agreements, fully covering for the first time the activities of provincial and municipal governments.
In Manitoba, purchases by all levels of government amount to $5 – $8 billion annually, providing considerable clout to support the provincial and local economies. Under existing free trade agreements, public expenditure is one of the few remaining policy tools provincial and municipal governments can use to directly support regional economic development, increase productivity, promote environmental policies and support disadvantaged communities.
The EU is negotiating to ensure that foreign suppliers get full access to these government contracts. This would limit the provincial government’s capacity to give preference to Manitobans, or even to consider local benefits, when it tenders contracts for goods and services. It could, for example, undermine Manitoba Hydro’s ability to use its extensive purchasing power to support local businesses and employment as part of the province’s economic development strategy for northern and 1st Nations communities. Municipalities would be restricted from ensuring that locally generated tax dollars support the local economy.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor from
via Canada – EU Trade Deal Bad for Manitoba | Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
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