Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Canadians urge NAFTA renegotiation

In an open letter to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, major Canadian organizations urged him to commit to a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The letter was released just prior to U.S. President Barrack Obama’s February 19 visit to Ottawa.

“Canadaian public opinion is solidly behind the need to renegotiate NAFTA,” the letter pointed out, citing a September poll in which 61 percent of respondents favored that position.

The letter was signed by 26 Canadian organizations, including Oxfam Canada, Sierra Club of Canada, the Council of Canadians, Common Frontiers, Canadian Federation of Students, the Canadian Auto Workers, and a variety of other unions.

In releasing the letter, Rick Arnold of Common Frontiers said: “We were all promised a golden future under NAFTA, but the reality for the three signatory countries is that the gap between rich and poor has grown exponentially, and government’s ability to set public policy has been curtailed in favor of giving carte blanc to foreign investors.”

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