2008 Aug 21: Barack Obama and renegotiating NAFTA

2008, Thursday August 21, 6:30 pm
Toronto City Hall, Committee  Room 3

100 Queen Street East at Bay

Post Carbon Toronto presents a talk by Gordon Laxer, Director of the Parkland Institute at the University of Alberta and a Political Economy professor and author.

Barack Obama’s Promise to Renegotiate NAFTA Presents Opportunity for Canada

Gordon will discuss the opportunity Barack Obama’s promise to renegotiate NAFTA gives Canada.  Obama’s pledge put NAFTA back on the political table in Canada, a place it has not been for 15 years.  Can Canada take the opportunity to pull out of NAFTA’s proportionality clause, which forces Canada, and Canada alone, to produce and then export the majority of its oil and natural gas?

The Parkland Institute has recently published two papers on energy issues in Canada: “Freezing in the Dark: why Canada Needs Strategic Petroleum Reserves” and “Over a Barrel: Exiting from NAFTA’s Proportionality Clause”.

2 responses to “Barack Obama and renegotiating NAFTA”

  1. chris writes:

    The United States is the most wasteful country on this planet, unfortunately we are a consumer driven economy. Canada it seems is just another pawn for my country to disgard at any opportunity. Canada is wasting the Boreal forest of Saskatchewan for the OIL it has to feed us in the U.S. We consume 20 million barrels a day to keep our consumer driven economy going (slow going right now). I know what Nafta has done to the Mexican farmer and it’s manufacturing base, what about Cananda? What has Nafta done wrong for Canada ie: farming, manufacturing, sevice industry and so on I haven’t found alot of info except OIL and what it is doing to both of our countries and the rest of the world. Nafta is only making the wealthy wealtheir and the poor poorer. Nafta doesn’t work and all countries need to revert to protectionist trade to keep their economies running like they were before Reagan dismantled our trade policies and letting Neo-liberal trade do its dirty work.

  2. Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu writes:

    Hi Chris,

    In answer to your question about what NAFTA has done in Canada, a lot.

    The same pattern of manufacturing job losses that the US has experienced has only been worse for Canada, where labour laws are stronger and social services and health care are better. The car industry has suffered a lot of blows. We haven’t necessarily benefited from the supposed economic benefits, either. Our natural resources get subjected to illegal tariffs. Even when we won a court case over softwood lumber, the trade barriers weren’t dropped, and our government caved. The biggest concerns are with sovereignty over natural resources and energy: oil, gas, electricity, and, critically, water.

    The Green Party of Canada voted in a membership driven policy resolution at our last policy conference in 2006 to promote Canada giving the mandatory 6-month notice to withdraw from NAFTA and renegotiate a trade agreement with the US based on fair trade practices and respect for environmental integrity.

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