To meaningfully address the many global issues, we need to shift global trade priorities, and develop trade policies that equally value human rights and economic objectives. We need to formalize these priorities within trade agreements and policies.
With the goal of reforming trade policy, we plan to:
- Look for social protections in existing trade agreements that are not being enforced, and advocate for their enforcement
- Contribute to Canadian trade agreement negotiations and promote fair and ethical trade with small-scale producers in the global south
- Research and develop trade policy best practices, and write a position paper on what sustainable and equitable trade policies could look like.
Our goal is see the Canadian federal government take the following actions:
- Integrate Labour Cooperation Agreements into the body of Free Trade Agreements, as essential core components in order to reflect the equal value and importance of each part
- Use clear, explicit language in setting out the criteria for compliance with minimum labour standards within our Free Trade and Labour Cooperation Agreements to ensure that our trading partners do not skirt their obligations. Adopt a periodic reporting system to monitor and improve compliance.
- Develop timelines and practical implementation plans for labour standards, as well as effective monitoring and enforcement, using the technical assistance measures allowed for in our Labour Cooperation Agreements. Work cooperatively with our trading partners and provide assistance when they are unable to fulfill their commitment to upholding minimum labour standards.