In this election, the position of Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau on the economy is that public resources, assets and funds must be available to the global monopolies to encourage them to invest in the economy. They insist that putting Canada’s economy and human and natural resources at the disposal of the monopolies means international trade must come under their control within multilateral free trade deals. They laud the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal as yet another international agreement that allows the global monopolies almost unfettered access and control over Canada’s economy, its human and natural resources, production of goods and services, and home market.
Free trade demands the negation of sovereign rule over the economy within a participating country. The neo-liberals contend giving up sovereign control of the economy to global monopolies is the only way the monopolies will invest in Canada and the economy can grow. Unspoken in this reasoning is how the narrow private interests of the global monopolies that seize control of the economy to expand their empires can be harmonized with the broad public interests of the people and their rights, and the necessity to humanize the social and natural environment.
The people’s opposition to free trade demands the actual producers and residents of a country have the political power to exercise democratic control over the economy and international trade. Without democratic control to decide the direction of the economy, the narrow private interests of the global monopolies run amuck leaving political, social, economic and environmental problems not only unresolved but worsened, and the people’s rights overwhelmed by monopoly right.
The people’s opposition proposes democratic renewal as first priority and an economy that is stable, self-reliant and consciously integrated. Such an economy serves the broad public interest under the democratic control of the actual producers and residents. From this solid foundation of self-reliance, with production, manufacturing, social programs and public services reliably serving the people’s needs and food security, international trade can be conducted on a wide scale with all those countries willing to engage in trade for mutual benefit and development, and without interfering in the sovereign affairs of each other.
Contemporary international trade demands stability and cooperation in production and distribution, not competition, anarchy and crises. Modern definitions are required to assess the value of exchanged merchandise and determine its price. This means that private monopoly control of the wholesale sector, currencies and the pricing of commodities must be restricted and handled by a public authority that is directly accountable to the polity and has its confidence and respect. Such a public authority must demonstrate and prove to the polity that its actions on behalf of the people and country are guided by the broad public interest and social responsibility, and are accountable to the people and their democratic control.
Year to date results of Canada’s international merchandise trade
The year to date results of Canada’s international merchandise trade show a negative outflow of $17.4 billion from the economy. Those results are stark evidence of the Harper/Trudeau fallacy of an economy under free trade and dictate of the global monopolies that control Canada’s trade, wholesale market, currency and determination of prices. Their narrow private interests dictate all facets of trade from what goods are produced and traded, and how they are produced and priced. Prices fluctuate wildly, the economy stumbles from one crisis to another, social wealth pours out of the economy and country, manufacturing and food security come under attack, public right and interest are negated, and the social and natural environment suffers.
Canada’s economy and international trade need a new direction towards public right and control. The people must have the power to restrict monopoly right and the dictate of the global monopolies. The country needs a new direction towards a self-reliant consciously integrated economy under the democratic control of the actual producers and residents. The people can and must defeat the Harper/Trudeau neo-liberal direction of the economy and their mania for free trade under the dictate of the global monopolies.
Protests Against Sell-Out Free Trade Deals in Ottawa (left) and Montreal.
Source: Renewal Update, October 18,2015