Indigeneity and Transnational Routes and Roads in North America
This chapter examines the arguments that have been made for the inclusion of civil society in discussions of international trade agreements. It provides an overview and critique of the structures for consultation with civil society regarding the evolving North American relationship. As John Foster discusses the announcement of the decision to pursue a trade agreement with the US resulted in the unprecedented coalescence of new ties among a wide range of civil society actors, including trade unions, nationalists, women's groups, social agencies, development groups, Indigenous peoples, farmers, environmentalists, and social justice groups like the mainstream churches. As a result, new models of consultation have been developed to take into account the views of both business and non-business civil society actors, other departments of both the federal and provincial governments that would not normally be involved in trade discussions. However, civil society representatives have expressed profound concern about policy processes in which only business actor's gain privileged access to decision makers.