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Friday, October 2, 2015

dairy farmers bring tractors and cattle to Parliament Hill to protest !

Farmers are protesting - dairy farmers from eastern Ontario took their tractors and cattle to Parliament Hill to protest !!

The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean  in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.  The Pacific Rim  denotes the  lands around the rim of the Pacific Ocean.  The Pacific is a hotbed of overseas shipping. The top 10 busiest container ports, with the exception of Dubai's Port of Jebel Ali (9th), are in the Rim nations. They are home to 29 of the world's 50 busiest container shipping ports.

A massive Pacific Rim trade agreement that the Conservative government is determined to conclude – even during this election campaign – would threaten more than 26,000 Canadian auto jobs, the country’s largest private-sector union is warning. The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership deal would unite 12 countries from Chile to Japan into a single free-trade zone and eclipse the North American free-trade agreement in importance. There’s growing concern over measures in the TPP that would lower domestic content rules for vehicles and car parts, overriding rules in the NAFTA that have protected Canadian auto jobs for decades.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed trade agreement between several Pacific Rim countries concerning a variety of matters of economic policy. Among other things, the TPP seeks to lower trade barriers such as tariffs, establish a common framework for intellectual property, enforce standards for labour law and environmental law, and establish an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism. Historically, the TPP is an expansion of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPSEP or P4) which was signed by Brunei, Chile, Singapore, and New Zealand in 2006. Beginning in 2008, additional countries joined for a broader agreement: Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the United States, and Vietnam, bringing the total number of participating countries to twelve.

Participating countries set the goal of wrapping up negotiations in 2012, but contentious issues such as agriculture, intellectual property, and services and investments have caused negotiations to continue into the present, with the latest round of negotiations in July 2015.  Although the text of the treaty has not been made public, Wikileaks  published several leaked documents since 2013.

Dairy farmers from eastern Ontario took their tractors and cattle to Parliament Hill to protest possible dairy concessions in the soon-to-be-signed Trans-Pacific Partnership. The farmers rolled down a busy Bank Street in downtown Ottawa on Tuesday, one day before trade ministers from 12 Pacific Rim member countries were set to meet in Atlanta to discuss the TPP.   It was a show of unhappy Canadian dairy farmers parking dozens of tractors in central Ottawa and walking  their cows down the main street opposite Parliament  protesting  trade talks they said could cripple them.

Canada is one of 12 Pacific Rim countries trying to nail down a trade deal in Atlanta this week. The United States, New Zealand and Australia want Canada to start dismantling a system of tariffs that keep domestic prices high and imports expensive.

Farmers said they would be flooded by cheap foreign milk if the so-called supply management system were to end. The issue could cost the ruling Conservatives crucial rural votes in what looks set to be a hotly contested election on Oct 19.

"If they bring in so much milk from the States our Canadian market will be flooded pretty easily ... it's stressful to think that the government will sell us out to the Americans," said a farmer as he struggled to control his cow Ninja.  Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has said Canada must sign onto the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact, said on Tuesday that Ottawa would defend supply management but gave no details of what concessions Canada might make.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
1st Oct 2015.

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