Thursday, April 11, 2013

#mtlqc13 Priority Resolution - International Affairs

The NDP's position on trade policy has of course been a hot-button issue both inside and outside the party - making it the area I'd see needing some discussion in Montreal. And while a number of other resolutions deal with the issue, one offers a particularly neat means to add an explicit commitment to the bigger picture while allowing for the approval of reasonable trade agreements (and avoiding unnecessary modifications to what's already a well-worded section of the policy book).
Resolution on Unfair Trade Practices Submitted by Beaches-East York
BE IT RESOLVED the following clause be added to Section 4.5 of the policy book, after clause b, and that subsequent items be reordered accordingly:
[4.5 New Democrats believe in] c) Classifying wage suppression, union suppression and lax environmental regulation as prohibited "unfair trade practices“ in international trade agreements.
Of course, there's room to import some other principles as well - such as ensuring that "unfair trade practices" aren't merely enforceable by corporate interests or measured in terms of lost profits. And if the resolution can be further strengthened to account for those types of considerations, then all the better.

But the starting point in addressing trade should be a concrete commitment to ensuring that social values are strengthened rather than undermined by international trade. And the resolution from Beaches-East York fits that goal.


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