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Trans-Pacific Partnership does not live up to labour promises: study

OTTAWA Far from being a pro-labour trade deal, as the Canadian and U.S. governments claim, a new study from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives shows the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) makes little effort to improve labour standards and offers workers a toothless dispute processes compared to the strong investment protections elsewhere in the agreement.

“Based on our history with NAFTA and other deals, and our reading of the TPP text, we can only conclude the TPP will reproduce an ineffective labour rights regime while further expanding a free trade model that has perpetuated labour rights violations across the world,” says Angella MacEwen, economist with the Canadian Labour Congress and co-author, with Carleton University professor Laura Macdonald, of the new report, Does the TPP Work for Workers?

As outlined in the study, the TPP labour chapter is modelled on earlier labour accords or chapters, which remain largely ineffective for addressing labour rights violations, and fail to counteract the negative impacts on working people of other, stronger provisions in contemporary trade agreements. As the International Labour Organization (ILO) pointed out recently, “no complaint has given rise to a decision of a dispute settlement body or even led to sanctions.”

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