NCA Trade and Environment Policy Statement

Introduction

The National Citizens Alliance (NCA)

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Queen Mary 2
Halifax, Nova Scotia
September 25, 2004

believes that international trade is an essential component of sovereignty, political harmony with other countries, and a means to achieving economic efficiency. However, trade may support environmental degradation as trade with developing nations grows, and trade and investment agreements as may allow foreign corporations to bypass new national environmental law. Further, global trade supports climate change, through the transportation emissions of global trade as opposed to local trade and potentially increased consumption.

The NCA supports a balanced and sustainable approach to international trade that reflects the best interests of the Canadian people. This approach entails protection of the Canadian environment and consistent environmental conduct of Canadian corporations abroad, and economic sense for Canadians. In addition, the NCA believes that local, provincial, regional, and national trade should be encouraged over global trade.

Federal Government:

The current federal government has taken an imbalanced and unsustainable approach to international trade that may not be in the best interests of the Canadian people. Building off the controversial FIPA agreement, the federal government has been implicated in unethical pay for access with wealthy Asians, and it is supportive of the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership that further erode Canadian sovereignty and weaken the Canadian manufacturing industries.

The National Citizens Alliance supports:

● consulting Canadians on foreign trade and investment agreements in order to share information and attain public input; the NA will make public a record of comments and suggestions

● supporting smart trade over free trade that is best interests of the Canadian people

● encouraging local, provincial, regional, and national trade over global trade

● taking a leadership role in trade and environment by ensuring reasonable national environmental standards

● requiring countries with unreasonable environmental standards to raise them as part of any signed trade and investment agreement

● establish as a federal standard that elected officials must represent the overall public good of the country and their constituents and be of free conscience in representing the public good

● encouraging environmental reforms in high polluting countries through trade incentives

● applying energy regulations that employ the balancing test to ensure environmental and economic interests are protected

● disallowing foreign corporations from bypassing Canadian environmental laws and ensuring these laws apply to all corporations operating in Canada equally

● supporting an independent Foreign Investment/Trade Review Committee that is comprised of trade/finance professionals and a cross-section of Canadian citizens; this committee would provide recommendations to the Canadian people and Members of Parliament; the Canadian people would decide via referendum as to whether or not an investment or trade agreement passes

● requiring trade and investment agreement disputes be arbitrated with public transparency

● applying conservatively theoretical claims such as The Porter Hypothesis that claim environmental regulations could actually improve economic performance

● allowing Canadian citizens to sue individuals and corporations in Canadian courts for environmental harm in foreign countries that violate the laws of a particular nation, international law, or treaties that Canada is a signature of

● allowing Canadian citizens to sue foreign corporations for environmental harm in Canada

● supporting bilateral trade and investment agreements as opposed to multilateral and in order to reduce the liability of the government and foreign interference into our affairs

● supporting economic studies on the outcome of international trade agreements prior to them being signed to the Canadian economy and broad public good, and ensuring that these studies are accessible to the Canadian people

Conclusion

The National Citizens Alliance supports international trade as an integral part of our sovereignty, political harmony with other countries, and means to economic efficiency. Competition within a fair playing field ought to yield the best results. However, the NCA believes that the playing field must entail protections of the Canadian environment, and these protections must apply to both domestic and foreign investors. In addition, trade agreements must be in the best economic interests of Canadians as a whole. Within this framework, the NCA supports environmental regulations that are balanced with economic interests and encourage sustainability through greater innovation and efficiency by corporations. Further, the NCA supports referendums on international investment and trade agreements because these agreements have significant impacts on the Canadian people.

Created: 2015-04-04; last updated: 2017-01-09

The NCA membership voted on 2015-02-13/15. 100 percent of voting membership voted in favour of the Trade and Environment Policy Statement with a 100 percent quorum. These results satisfy the minimum 70 percent voting membership support and 50 percent quorum of voting membership required for adoption of policies as per the NCA Constitution.

The NCA welcomes feedback on its policies. Please send policy feedback to info@nationalcitizensalliance.ca

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