Free Trade #12: A Look Back At FIPA, And Selling Sovereignty To China

Erin O’Toole was a Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Trade in 2014. It’s clear from these quotes that he doesn’t see a problem selling out Canada’s sovereignty to China with the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA). In fact, he glosses over just how bad this arrangement really is. All of the Conservatives did.

https://openparliament.ca/debates/2014/9/22/erin-otoole-1/

1. Offshoring, Globalization, Free Trade

The other posts on outsourcing/offshoring are available here. It focuses on the hidden costs and trade offs society as a whole has to make. Contrary to what many politicians and figures in the media claim, there are always costs to these kinds of agreement. These include: (a) job losses; (b) wages being driven down; (c) undercutting of local companies; (d) legal action by foreign entities; (e) industries being outsourced; (f) losses to communities when major employers leave; and (g) loss of sovereignty to foreign corporations and governments. Don’t believe the lies that these agreements are overwhelmingly beneficial to all.

2. Important Links

https://openparliament.ca/debates/

CLICK HERE, for Erin O’Toole and FIPA support.
https://archive.is/p2fkV
WayBack Machine Archive

CLICK HERE, for CBC article on what FIPA is.
https://archive.is/C6Xvi

CLICK HERE, for Canadian Government on FIPA text.
https://archive.is/wC5ed
WayBack Machine Archive

3. Other “Conservatives” Support FIPA

https://openparliament.ca/debates/2013/4/18/ron-cannan-3/

https://openparliament.ca/debates/2013/4/18/rob-merrifield-3/

https://openparliament.ca/debates/2014/6/4/lois-brown-7/

https://openparliament.ca/debates/2013/4/18/james-moore-3/

https://openparliament.ca/debates/2013/4/18/michael-chong-1/

4. Quotes From FIPA Agreement

Article 5
Most-Favoured-Nation Treatment
1. Each Contracting Party shall accord to investors of the other Contracting Party treatment no less favourable than that it accords, in like circumstances, to investors of a non-Contracting Party with respect to the establishment, acquisition, expansion, management, conduct, operation and sale or other disposition of investments in its territory.
2. Each Contracting Party shall accord to covered investments treatment no less favourable than that it accords, in like circumstances, to investments of investors of a non-Contracting Party with respect to the establishment, acquisition, expansion, management, conduct, operation and sale or other disposition of investments in its territory.
3. For greater certainty, the “treatment” referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article does not encompass the dispute resolution mechanisms, such as those in Part C, in other international investment treaties and other trade agreements.

Article 6
National Treatment
1. Each Contracting Party shall accord to investors of the other Contracting Party treatment no less favourable than that it accords, in like circumstances, to its own investors with respect to the expansion, management, conduct, operation and sale or other disposition of investments in its territory.
2. Each Contracting Party shall accord to covered investments treatment no less favourable than that it accords, in like circumstances, to investments of its own investors with respect to the expansion, management, conduct, operation and sale or other disposition of investments in its territory.
3. The concept of “expansion” in this Article applies only with respect to sectors not subject to a prior approval process under the relevant sectoral guidelines and applicable laws, regulations and rules in force at the time of expansion. The expansion may be subject to prescribed formalities and other information requirements.

Article 11
Compensation for Losses
Investors of one Contracting Party who suffer losses in respect of covered investments owing to war, a state of national emergency, insurrection, riot or other similar events, shall be accorded treatment by the other Contracting Party, in respect of restitution, indemnification, compensation or other settlement, no less favourable than it accords in like circumstances, to its own investors or to investors of any third State.

Local laws — environmental protection, for example — which are seen as harmful and detrimental to business interests will be considered grounds to submit a claim for compensation.

Article 23
Consent to Arbitration
Each Contracting Party consents to the submission of a claim to arbitration in accordance with the procedures set out in this Agreement. Failure to meet any of the conditions precedent provided for in Article 21 shall nullify that consent.

Disputes won’t be heard in any open or transparent way. Instead arbitration that is largely secret will be resolving disputes.

Article 35
Entry into Force and Termination
1. The Contracting Parties shall notify each other through diplomatic channels that they have completed the internal legal procedures for the entry into force of this Agreement. This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the following month after the second notification is received, and shall remain in force for a period of at least fifteen years.
2. After the expiration of the initial fifteen-year period, this Agreement shall continue to be in force. Either Contracting Party may at any time thereafter terminate this Agreement. The termination will be effective one year after notice of termination has been received by the other Contracting Party.
3. With respect to investments made prior to the date of termination of this Agreement, Articles 1 to 34, as well as paragraph 4 of this Article, shall continue to be effective for an additional fifteen-year period from the date of termination.
4. The Annexes and footnotes to this Agreement constitute integral parts of this Agreement.

So the agreement itself lasts for at least 15 years. Then, we are required to give a 1 year notice, at which time, Articles 1 to 34 will lapse in another 15 years. All in all, this agreement will then last a minimum of 31 years. This is an entire generation away from being able to really terminate.

5. What Is Canada Getting With FIPA?

The secrecy shrouding the much-delayed Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) with China makes it hard for experts, let alone average Canadians, to figure out what benefits this country will see from the deal.

-Canadian governments are locked in for a generation. If Canada finds the deal unsatisfactory, it cannot be cancelled completely for 31 years.
-China benefits much more than Canada, because of a clause allowing existing restrictions in each country to stay in place. Chinese companies get to play on a relatively level field in Canada, while maintaining wildly arbitrary practices and rules for Canadian companies in China.
-Chinese companies will be able to seek redress against any laws passed by any level of government in Canada which threaten their profits. Australia has decided not to enter FIPA agreements specifically because they allow powerful corporations to challenge legislation on social, environmental and economic issues. —-Chinese companies investing heavily in Canadian energy will be able seek billions in compensation if their projects are hampered by provincial laws on issues such as environmental concerns or First Nations rights, for example.
-Cases will be decided by a panel of professional arbitrators, and may be kept secret at the discretion of the sued party. This extraordinary provision reflects an aversion to transparency and public debate common to the Harper cabinet and the Chinese politburo.
Differences between FIPA and the North American Free Trade Agreement may offer intriguing loopholes for American lawyers to argue for equal treatment under the principle of Most Favoured Nation.

The CBC covered the story and raised several legitimate concerns over this deal. Secrecy aside, it’s difficult to see what (if any) real benefits Canada gets from it.

6. China Buying Up Assets Across Canada

This is too long to do justice here, but Canadian laws make it easy for foreigners to buy property in Canada. This applies regardless of whether they live here, or even intend to. The Chinese in particular are taking full advantage of that.

7. Putting China Over Canadians

This isn’t really related to FIPA, but still good to point out: even so-called “populists” can be globalist shills. Here is no different. How does making it easier to import cheap Chinese products keep industries and jobs in Canada? However, China has more freedom and less government in recent decades.

8. CANZUK To Counter Chinese Influence?

CPC Policy Declaration August 2018

Have to love the mental gymnastics here. CPC Leader Erin O’Toole spoke in support of CANZUK in the 2018 Policy Convention. He explicitly stated he wanted to “let more and more countries” into the agreement. Fast forward 2 years, and he wants to accelerate CANZUK to stop the growing Chinese influence ….. that he supported in 2014. Way to be consistent.

9. Can O’Toole/CPC Actually Be Trusted?

How can anyone trust Erin O’Toole?
(a) He has no qualms about selling sovereignty to China.
(b) He supports CANZUK — and expanding the zone.
(c) CANZUK is now just a way to counter China, who is still here.
(d) Heenan Blaikie was Trudeau Sr.’s and Chretien’s old law firm.
(e) He is an ex-Facebook lobbyist.
(f) He openly shills for foreign powers like Israel.
(g) He supports even more draconian measures than Trudeau.
(h) His Chief of Staff is a Director at Sick Kids Hospital.
(i) CPC supports the temp-to-PR pipeline.

10. Conservative Politicians Are Globalists

One would think that “conserving” in the sense of trade meant protecting local industries, and protecting communities from having major employers shipped overseas.

However, that is not the case. What passes for conservatism is really just “corporatism”, putting those interests over that of the local population. There are far more important things than stock prices and overall profits.

Ask them to “conserve” the makeup, culture, language, traditions, or heritage of a country, and that’s being racist. After all, Canada is make up of abstract values (that few can agree on), not any sort of identity.