Articles Globalization

  • One Key Way NAFTA 2.0 Reinvigorates Canadian Sovereignty

    Canadian Politics

    The federal government should pursue new agreements — as New Zealand has done under the re-born Trans-Pacific Partnership — to drop ISDS. We should respect each other’s democracies and courts and, if some companies have doubts, they have the option to negotiate for ISDS in their government contracts, buy insurance against political risks, or just decline to invest in unreliable countries.

  • Review of the Renegotiated NAFTA: Benefits and Drawbacks to Canada

    Globalization

    One can’t help wondering what Tommy Douglas and the CCF-NDP of a previous era would do at a time such as this. In all likelihood, they might assess that because of the elimination of chapter 11 and the energy proportionality rule, this is a somewhat better deal for Canada, but nevertheless, they would advocate that we give a six-month notice and simply get out of our current partial economic straitjacket. Is there any prospect of the NDP ever being revived in the way the British Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn suddenly became aware of its original socialist roots?

  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly on NAFTA 2.0

    Globalization

    For many years, the Council of Canadians and others have been writing and advocating to get rid of Chapter 11, the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) process. These are the provisions that allow corporations to sue countries over decisions, even if they are made in the public interest. For years, Canada has faced corporate lawsuits that made provinces renounce public auto insurance, accept toxins, and pay for refusing dangerous quarries. Now, at the request of the U.S., there will be no ISDS process between U.S. and Canada.

  • Trudeau clings to Chapter 19 in NAFTA, but why?

    Canadian Politics

    Let us also remember that the NAFTA talks not only lack transparency and genuine public input, but they are now being rushed, in part, so that they can be concluded under outgoing NAFTA-friendly Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto, rather than Andrés Manuel López Obrador (who was elected on July 1 and is to be sworn into office on December 1). NAFTA is part of the architecture of corporate rule, the Chapter 19 provision doesn’t change that fundamental truth.

  • Trump: The De-Globalizer?

    Globalization

    What if, considering the motion towards peoples’ new self-determination, Trump’s amok run, his jumping from chaos to more chaos, to the sanction game no end – punishing, or threatening friends and foes alike, will lead to a genuine de-globalization of the world? If this were to happen then, we the 90% of the globe’s population, should be very grateful to Mr. Trump who has shown and created the path to enlightening – the enlightening of de-globalization.

  • Trump’s Phony Trade War

    Globalization

    So what’s all the talk about a Trump ‘trade war’? Is it media hype? Typical Trump hyperbole? Is there really a trade war in the making? Indeed, was there ever? And how much of it is really about reducing the US global trade deficit—and how much about the resurrection of Trump’s ‘economic nationalism’ theme for the consumption of his domestic political base in an election year? One thing for certain, what’s underway is not a ‘trade war’.

  • Amazon Is a 21st-Century Digital Chain Gang

    Globalization

    When Amazon announced plans to locate a $5 billion complex as its second headquarters somewhere in North America, state governments fell over themselves offering billions in tax abatements and corporate subsidies to secure the prize. It might behoove the remaining 20 cities that have made the final cut to heed the warning from Virgil’s Aeneid: “I fear the Greeks, even when they are bearing gifts.” Especially when the gifts come in the form of a modern-day digital chain gang.

  • Airbnb: short-term rentals, short-term thinking

    Globalization

    Our research on the short-term rental market reveals an increasingly concentrated, commodified landscape in which a few large players are making large amounts of money. Small-scale home sharing is a modest and shrinking piece of the market, and long-term housing for residents is being converted into de facto hotels. Canadian cities should respond to these facts by severely restricting the ability of commercial operators to make money converting long-term housing into short-term rentals.

  • Radical Municipalism: The Only Solution to Amazon’s Extortion of Cities

    Globalization

    This is the near-dystopian endpoint of the neoliberal city: gargantuan corporations forcing cash-strapped cities to publicly bid against each other with tax breaks, subsidies and crass public relations campaigns. In the excellently titled “Amazon’s New Headquarters Should Be In Hell,” author Hamilton Nolan argued: “This is what the extortion of public resources looks like.”

  • Trump in the Time of Trumpism

    Globalization

    Most of us don’t like to admit of this litany of the bad. Yet it lives on. Neoliberalism in recent decades has pushed things further. Thatcher famously said that there is no such thing as society. This is dangerous talk for it risks opening the door to authoritarianism, even fascism, the better to fill the void and make people, in the gaze and embrace of the leader, feel they belong.

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