Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands), received a standing ovation following a speech at the Annual General Meeting of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (Alliance 90/The Green Party) – also known as the German Greens – in Berlin on Saturday.
Ms. May spoke against the ratification of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), arguing that investor-state provisions in CETA and other trade agreements disproportionately benefit corporations.
“The whole point of investor-state provisions is that foreign corporations can bring arbitration cases against governments that reduce their expectation of profits,” Ms. May told the 1,000-person crowd at Berlin’s Velodrom.
Ms. May called on Greens in parliaments around the world to work collaboratively towards new international trade deals that “enhance corporate responsibilities before they get new rights.”
“Together, we can eliminate [investor-state] agreements, which are all about giving power to the powerful and more money to the monied. We can put in place those agreements that protect the marginalized and disadvantaged, and work for the kind of trade deals that elevate all the human family through fairness and justice,” Ms. May said.
Greens currently hold 63 of 630 seats in the Bundestag, are coalition government partners in multiple German states, and hold 11 of 96 seats in the European Parliament. CETA must be ratified by all EU member states and the EU parliament before it comes into effect.