Why we can’t let the TPP be swept under the rug

Image via http://rabble.ca/
Image via http://rabble.ca/

Bringing the Trans-Pacific Partnership back into the limelight

By Lauren Kelly, Editor-in-Chief

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a trade deal that involves 12 Pacific Rim countries, including the US and Canada. The final version of it has already been signed, and it is now waiting to be ratified by the leaders of each country. It will allow free trade between all of the countries involved, hugely opening up our trade options. It will also give more power to corporations, and has the potential to negatively impact copyright laws and internet freedoms. Even though it will have such a broad impact, in recent months it has received very little publicity in favour of the election down south.

It was a topic during our election, with Harper being pro-TPP, Mulcair and May being against it, and Trudeau saying he would review it if he was elected and decide then. Since then, Trudeau has signed it, but we are still waiting on his decision on whether to ratify the agreement or not. In line with his platform, he and his party want feedback from the Canadian people before they make their decision. This is great news, if he actually listens. The result of the TPP will have a huge impact on the future for each of us, especially millennials, who will be bearing the brunt of the economic changes as we struggle to stay stable.

That’s why it is so important that each and every one of us review it, do research, and make an informed decision. Sign a petition for or against it, contact your local MP, attend a protest, provide feedback to the federal government—make your voice heard, whatever you are saying. It’s easy for a leader to pay lip service and say he or she will listen to the people, but if it’s true in this case, we need to take advantage.

If Canada is the only country to not agree, our economy could take a large hit, but it seems unlikely at this point that the next US president will sign it. Both Trump and Clinton have come out strongly against the TPP, which is a flip for Clinton, as she was one of the people who worked on it with President Obama. Because of this, some do question whether Clinton will stand by that, or if she’ll ratify it once she’s in office. Obama is still a strong proponent of it, and he is doing his best to push it while he’s still president.

Whatever happens in the US will affect us greatly, and may also affect Trudeau’s decision. But we can’t just wait for things to play out, while we watch their election and hope for the best. We live in Canada, and we need to focus our attention here right now. We can’t vote in the US election, no matter how invested some of us are in it, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make a difference at home.