This is the third blog entry of 5-blog series about Sorenson Communications, Inc’s impact on Canada.
It is my responsibility as a Deaf American Citizen to share this information based on facts, reliable sources and supporting evidence to you. Then you can get involved to make things right with FCC and our Deaf Canadian citizens.
Now, you have read the previous blog about Proliferation, and this entry will discuss about Sorenson’s counterattack against FCC’s proposed rules having call centers located in United States.
Sorenson fought hard. Their lawyers came up with the loophole. That is called North America Fair Trade Agreement, also known as NAFTA. The North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA is an agreement signed by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994.
Sorenson submitted comments to FCC on September 10, 2010 with an argument why FCC should continue to allow VRS call centers to operate in Canada. See page 7 through 10.
Forcing Sorenson to shutter its Canadian interpreting centers, any such mandate would violate the international obligations of the United States, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”). Such violations, moreover, could easily spark retaliatory actions by Canada, creating a trade war that would benefit neither country. This situation would be damaging enough by itself, but here the damage would be magnified by the fact that closure of the Canadian interpreting centers “will inevitably create more demand for qualified interpreters” in the United States, thereby exacerbating the domestic shortage of interpreters and putting upward pressure on the size of the (TRS) Fund.
FCC filed an order on April 5, 2011. Go to page 9 which discusses about Location of VRS Call Centers. It is an ORDER. FCC allowed this to happen.
Apparently Sorenson won this argument. It is not too late. We can ask FCC to reconsider because Canada is suffering so much right now.
My next entry will talk about Canada’s fight to get their own Video Relay Services in their own country. This will explain the history of Canada’s fight, and how Sorenson got involved with this kind of ‘mess’ with British Columbia and Alberta Deaf Canadians. It started 16 months ago with an experiment.