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NAFTA’s Dirty Secret: It Lets U.S. Control Canada's Oil


#1

NAFTA’s Dirty Secret: It Lets U.S. Control Canada's Oil

Linda McQuaig

In the wake of Donald Trump’s fiery threats to end the trade deal between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the subject of NAFTA has become much more interesting to Canadians than before, when it mostly consisted of talk about softwood lumber and the dairy industry. Boring.

In fact, Trump or no Trump, NAFTA has always been a potential firecracker of an issue, if only the public knew what was in the deal.


#2

Any more questions about why the Clintons are so toxic to the Democratic Party and the DNC is so toxic to democracy ?


#3

ISDS has received MUCH less attention than it deserves, as it effectively nullifies democracy and gives total control of our economy - including laws protecting our health, food safety & environment - to the Multi-NaZional Korporations promoting it behind closed doors. ISDS is the single worst aspect of CAFTA, NAFTA and the TPP, and is the foundation of the World Trade Organization's international dictatorship.


#4

Thanks for a rare article that substantively and clearly discusses an important issue in context, rather than being a cheap and shallow political diatribe about the Idiot of Orange -- who will be forced out of office by his own people w/in a year anyway.


#5

Don't forget that O'Bummer was also a strong supporter of the TTP, which - like CAFTA, NAFTA and the charter of the WTO - includes ISDS provisions that sell out Democracy to Korporate Greed.  (I'll plead guilty to falling for O'Bummer's rhetoric and voting for him in 2008, but by 2012 I had seen the light and wrote in Bernie & Beth (Sanders & Warren) for President and V.P.)

Hopefully the worldwide disgust for our Predator-in-Chief will give Canadians the strength they need to reject both Article 605 and the ISDS provisions in a re-negotiated NAFTA, if not to reject NAFTA itself outright!


#6

My question is 'do you and many others have to constantly pretend that the democratic party is awful when it is so clearly vastly superior to today's republican party'? In a capitalist economy with humans involved, what do you truly expect? Canada could have said, "No" just as Mexico did. Blaming Clinton for that (which I assume you are doing) is ludicrous. Americans insist on having plentiful amounts of energy and were sure not happy when the oil embargo hit during the Carter Administration. In general, democrats and Obama did make efforts to curb fossil fuel use and limit environmental damage. Those ideas have not been popular with republican politicians for decades.


#7

Bill Clinton's right wing agenda STARTED with his zealously pushing NAFTA through in 1994, the Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives later that year for the first time in forty years, enabling Clinton to push further right with less resistance. While I won't argue if some people believe that such actions make "the democratic party awful", I will continue to document the facts in a world where fake news and alternative facts keep making it harder to find and broadcast the actual facts.

Speaking of actual facts, The Arab oil embargo started during the Nixon years, a few years before Carter became POTUS.


#8

Yes, you're right about the oil embargo. I was thinking about the 1979 oil panic especially involving Iran. Personally, I definitely do not see trade agreements as bad. Of course there are always provisions that are less than desirable and hurt some, but a lot of good also comes from them. Having lawful agreements between nations involving trade lessens the chance for war and armed conflicts. In the long run, it increases economic stability in nations. The biggest problem, I think most of us would agree, is giving too much power to the corporate world.


#9

Canada mandates national carbon pricing in January 2018. Unless NAFTA specifies market rates in US-Canada sales, Americans should be expected to pay a surtax (to the Canadians) for oil imports.


#10

NAFTA is a business-supremacy treaty: its overall effect is to
transfer power from the state (which should be democratic, and
sometimes is) to business.. By making it easy for companies to move
their production from one country to another, these treaties enable
businesses to play the countries against each other. Governments then
claim that their job is to compete to offer the biggest opportunities
to mistreat workers.

See stallman.org/business-supremacy-treaties.html for more
information.

Canada should pull out of NAFTA, but what it must do urgently is kill
CETA, the proposed business supremacy treaty with the European Union


#11

Something that really sticks out to me about this article is also my observations of other ordinary Canadians. Overall, Canadians generally like NAFTA and all this talk around here about jobs being lost to Mexicans is never heard up there - even though Canadians jobs, with higher wages and a far greater unionization rate than the US, should have been the first ones to move to Mexico.

It is becoming apparent that much of the fussing about NAFTA on the left - which has become indistinguishable from the fussing about NAFTA from the right - an objection to trade deals at all, not just the pro-corporate provisions inserted into them, is a classic form on US-exceptionalism. Ms. McQuaig points this out quite nicely.


#12

I assume that you are Canadian?


#15

So we're being told that Canada is a vassal state to the US and western Europe and exists only to give away it's natural resources to them?!? SURPRISE!!! Lol. Welcome to 'the story of Canadian history.' Curiously absent from the article is any mention of natural gas. Piss on their oil sands and the dwindling conventional stuff, the real story is the natural gas. It will be the last great fossil fuel, and Canada has LOTS.


#16

rms:

You:

I don't think that was rms meant, especially given that so much of the energy sector in Canada is foreign owned. To equate 'business' with 'the people' wouldn't quite be the very definition of fascism you speak of, but in an era of these trade agreements and of their 'corporate personhood,' would be approaching it. If governments retain some role in the market there is at least a possibility of some of the scraps left over (after the bureacrats and their sycophants are done lining their pockets) benefitting some of the common citizens in some way. Left to foreign-owned, big corporate business? Not a chance. I am not arguing pro-government, nor do I argue for big business. I argue for the common citizen... the little guy in all this. That is we, after all. Either way, I think we could agree that the common citizen will see no benefit from the plunder of their resources, as is most often the case. I'll leave you with an unsolicited piece of advice... if you're a hired gun of the Fraser Institute, you might want to consider going after some lower hanging fruit than what you'll find around these parts.


#17

[[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider ]]]
[[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies, ]]]
[[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]

I said that NAFTA transfers power from the state to businesses.
The result of NAFTA is that the people have LESS power.

The only way that the people get power over how businesses treat
people is is through regulations established through a democratic
state. NAFTA interferes with that; that's what it was designed to do.


#20

[[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider ]]]
[[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies, ]]]
[[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]

Why should "the people" (who?) have power over businesses (other people)?

So that people other than business owners can stay alive, have
freedom, and have decent lives.


#22

[[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider ]]]
[[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies, ]]]
[[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden’s example. ]]]

Please explain.

I am somewhat lost, since I don’t know exactly what this refers to.

By the way, my email address is rms@gnu.org.