to read the article "The hidden costs of trade treaties" published on May 29, 2015, click on
Not only the climate, also the population suffers because of the tar sands industry, says Allan Adam, chief of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. It causes large scale water pollution: 'Our children get skin rashes when they swim in the lake. As a child I could drink from our rivers, nowadays that is impossible.' The population struggles with health problems and increased cancer rates. 'The industry keeps claiming they cannot be appointed as the sole cause, but our research shows otherwise.'
Canada is the largest exporter of tar sands worldwide. Over the last years the country has invested heavily in the expansion of its production capacity and is looking for new export markets. The European market, dependent as it is on the import of oil and its derivatives, is calling.
Before Canadian tar sands reach Europe, they are processed in American refineries, based mostly on the gulf of Mexico. Here too the stakes are high. In 2012 trade with Europe in gasoline and diesel was worth 32 billion dollars...
The prolonged negotiations show that trade treaties nowadays entail much more than trade alone. In the context of CETA and TTIP far reaching reforms are pursued to strengthen Europe's connection to the US and Canada. The negotiations take place behind closed doors, as a result of which very little information sees the light. But the message is clear: the costs of these trade treaties, for both people and the environment, are high.