Free trade with China – threat to Canadian sovereignty?

Publication Source: The Vancouver Sun
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Author: Derek Abma

Green Party leader Elizabeth May thinks so. Looking back on it now, she said some of the rhetoric used against free trade with the U.S. was overblown. But she did say the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) — which it evolved into when Mexico became part of it— has deteriorated Canada’s ability to manage its own affairs.

She pointed to Chapter 11 of NAFTA, which has been used by private companies to challenge regulations passed by various levels of government if the company feels its investments have been compromised by a certain policy. If such a provision were applied to Canada’s arrangement with China, it could result in an oppressive regime having veto power over elected officials in Canada on domestic affairs, she argued.

“It’s another leap altogether to have enterprises owned by the government of China — with their executives appointed by the Communist Party of China — to have the ability to sue any town or city or province or federal government decision that they didn’t like,” May said.

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