Dear Heather Humphries, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, & TD for Cavan-Monaghan,
Right now, you’re deciding whether or not to hand over power to huge multinational corporations to sue us and introduce underpriced produce that threatens local businesses, through the toxic Canadian trade deal CETA.
We, the undersigned, call on you to protect local and native industries, rather than hand over control to massive corporations. Local businesses in Monaghan will face threats from cheaper, unfairly priced and under regulated competing produce flooding our market.
After years of secretive backroom negotiations, it’s come to this: if Ireland makes the CETA trade deal with Canada into law, foreign corporations will be able to sue us for any of our laws that cut into their profits. That means the laws that we chose, that protect Ireland and ensure the high standards of our goods, would come second to the money making of multinationals. It would also mean that multinationals could unfairly undercut local and native industries – potentially destroying them for good.
So we, 500 Irish business owners from many different walks of life, have come together to call on you to halt CETA in its tracks.
CETA will enable some of the world’s biggest corporations to undermine our social, health and environmental standards. Canada has far weaker regulations than ours – so CETA means their firms will be both able to undercut us in price, and we’ll have products in Ireland that we, as a sovereign nation, have deemed risky, unfair, or unethical.
Say that we then decide to regulate against them. We could face legal action from huge multinational corporations – this is not acceptable. This means our national sovereignty and democracy is undermined by CETA. Under its investor protection rules, CETA will give Canadian firms unprecedented powers to sue the Irish government when any new laws affect their profits.
CETA will result in the loss of jobs in Ireland and will severely affect the Irish food and agriculture sector.
A study commissioned by the EU predicts that we’ll see a ‘steep drop in beef meat prices by between 8-16%’ due to CETA, and similar deals. But the EU signed off on 50,000t of Canadian beef entering our market anyway – hundreds of thousands head of cattle. Our small farms will not be able to compete.
And the overwhelming majority of Irish businesses do not export to Canada. CETA has been designed by and for the largest corporations that trade and invest across the Atlantic, not the majority of us.
The EU Parliament Employment Committee concluded that CETA will endanger 90 million jobs in small businesses – putting our employees and our businesses at risk. Inequality between the wealthiest and poorest will also worsen across the EU and Canada, according to a recent study – the last thing we need.
We’re calling on the Irish government not to make this unfair deal into law. So Minister Humphreys, who do you answer to? Do you answer to multinational corporations in their boardrooms overseas, or to us – Irish businesses calling on you to act in our interest?
It should be people in Ireland that call the shots about our laws – not big business. Please, if you agree, don’t ratify CETA.
Fergal Cassidy, CEO, MeasureSoft
Olga Kennelly, Director, Autus Global Ltd
Bill Haneman, Proprieter, Haneman Union Pipes
Edward Owen, Director, Silentus
Gerard D’Arcy, Owner, Darcy Bespoke Cleaning
Roderick Campbell, CEO, CommitChange
Damien McKenna, Owner, McKenna Agencies
Paul Brennan, Owner, Paul Brennan Media Design
Clarence Healy, President, The Organic Institute
Dearbhla Breen, Director, Function Physiotherapy
Paul Lee, CEO, Viewsion Virtual Environments
John Mackey, Managing Director, Farm to Table Ltd
And 490 others
This ad was paid for by 198 Uplift members – people from communities across Ireland who are standing up for our local businesses, and our health, safety, and environmental protections. For more information, see http://uplift.ie/business-owners-ceta/.