The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was negotiated in secret by President Barack Obama, then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper and ten other Pacific Rim countries, over a three-year period from 2010 to late 2015.

Because these negotiations were conducted secretly, organizations representing Canadian and American workers were not allowed to review the proposed texts during any phase of the negotiations.

In the U.S., the AFL-CIO submitted recommendations that were completely ignored. In Canada, there was zero consultation with labour representatives, which was standard practice for Stephen Harper and the Conservative government.

Voters Reject Secret Trade Deals

When Stephen Harper’s secret TPP plan was announced in Canada, two weeks before last year’s Parliamentary elections, it became a major campaign issue and contributed to Harper’s historic defeat.

Voters across Canada overwhelming rejected Harper's Conservative Party and their economic failures in the October 2015 election. Harper and the Conservatives won only 99 out of 338 seats – a dramatic loss of 67 seats.

Voters in the U.S. have also consistently expressed their opposition to the secret negotiations, the anti-worker provisions and the non-negotiable “take it or leave” nature of this very flawed trade agreement. Opposition to the secret TPP treaty is expected to be a significant issue in the 2016 U.S. elections.

election poll

Secrecy Has Already Caused Confusion
and Distrust Among TPP Countries

When details of a secret side-deal between the U.S. and Japan over automobile imports were finally revealed, officials in Canada and Mexico took offense to their countries’ exclusion. When asked why these countries were cut out of the deal, a Japanese trade official said, “We thought that the U.S. represented Canada and Mexico.” Clearly, the TPP deal was so secret and so flawed that even so-called “negotiators” didn’t know who was really in charge or the actual details of what is clearly an all-around bad deal that should be opposed and rejected by all parties.

Canadian Workers Denied Work Under Secret Side Deal

According to the terms of a secret side-agreement that Stephen Harper negotiated, foreign companies will be able to bid on significant procurement projects in Canada. These same foreign companies will be able to import their own less trained and cheaper workers. That means foreign companies could bid on a Canadian project, and bring in a workforce that is nearly 100% foreign, and deny work to better qualified Canadians.

No “Canada First” Provision Included in Harper-Negotiated TPP Trade Deal

Harper’s secret trade deal does not have a “Canada First” provision requiring Canadians to be hired before importing temporary foreign workers.

The secret TPP agreement is also a potential disaster for worker safety. The agreement does not require workers on construction sites to be able to speak either English or French. The inability of workers to properly communicate is a serious safety issue and could endanger lives in the event of an emergency.

“All or Nothing” Deal Cannot Be Fixed Amended or Re-Negotiated

The deficiencies and dangers in the secret TPP agreement cannot be fixed. Harper and Obama negotiated a “take it or leave it” treaty, making it impossible for the U.S. Congress or the new Parliament and Prime Minister Trudeau to fix the poor and dangerous deal negotiated by a discredited predecessor.

The vast majority of Canadians rejected Stephen Harper’s government, and these types of secret bad deals, in last year’s election.

It doesn’t make sense to accept a bad deal, negotiated in secret by a discredited and rejected former Prime Minister.


Join us today in opposing this secret, job-killing trade deal. Sign up for action alerts on how to stop TPP before this secret deal destroys more American and Canadian jobs.

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