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Fair trade of goods can benefit working Canadians and should be governed by agreed upon, international trade rules. But trade rules must not undermine the national and domestic interests of working people in any nation.

Trade rules must be fair, not free. They must not allow one nation to control any other, nor should they allow corporations to dictate to a nation. Trade rules should not undermine a nations ability to regulate its own economy, nor should they prohibit favoured treatment of domestic industries or services where such treatment serves a public interest.

International trade agreements like NAFTA, the GATS and the FTAA should be repealed and renegotiated to:

  • Exclude all public services and public service systems.
  • Protect and defend the right of Canadian governments at all levels to regulate in the public interest.
  • Protect the ability of Canadian governments at all levels to favour local and not-for-profit providers and content, such as municipal procurement policies that favour local and not-for-profit providers of services and goods.
  • Remove the built-in requirements in trade agreements like GATS that commit all member governments to pursue further and deeper liberalization of trade.

The inherently undemocratic World Trade Organization is not capable of developing or enforcing fair trade rules. As an institutional superpower with an effective veto over democratically elected national governments through its rules and enforcement mechanisms, the WTO is a barrier to fair trade.