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2014-02-11  |  Janet Eaton

Published 11 February 2014.   Multinationals will have wide-ranging powers to sue EU states that enact health or environmental laws breaching their "legitimate expectations" of profit, according to a leaked ‘investment chapter’ from the Canada-EU free trade agreement (CETA), which was signed last November. 

A separate ‘nature and scope’ document for EU-US free trade talks, which EurActiv has seen, makes clear that similar parameters are foreseen for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement.

The CETA investment chapter proposes a definition of ‘fair and equitable treatment’ (FET) for investors which has sparked multi-million dollar lawsuits, such as one by Lone Pine challenging a shale drilling ban by the Canadian state of Quebec.

EU officials have reportedly not challenged the...

2014-02-10  |  Janet Eaton

By Karen Hansen-Kuhn, IATP, February 3rd, 2014.  More than 65,000 people rallied at Mexico’s Monument to the Revolution and marched to the historic Zocalo Square to demand a new economy that puts equality, justice and human rights first. Farmers, union, environmental and women’s activists gathered in Mexico City last week to take stock of the lessons from NAFTA and plan strategies to confront the next big threat: the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). One of the earliest lessons from the NAFTA experience was that people and environments in all three countries were affected. The stories from Mexico, Canada and the U.S. were remarkably similar: environmental destruction, threats to union and community organizing, and, in all sectors, a marked increase in corporate concentration as companies gained new abilities to move...

2014-02-10  |  Janet Eaton

By Ruth Cowley, Svatava Sprague, Alfred Bridi

By losing its rights under a bilateral investment treaty against a sovereign due to corruptly securing its investment, Metal-Tech marks a seemingly growing trend of bribery playing a critical role in international investment arbitration disputes.

In a newly published award, an International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”) tribunal unanimously rejected an investor’s claim against the Republic of Uzbekistan. This was on the grounds that an illegally-obtained investment contract based on corrupt payments by the investor to “consultants” linked to high ranking officials was in breach of the requirement for legal investments under the Israel-Uzbekistan bilateral investment treaty. This award highlights the growing relevance of corruption both in the context of national anti-bribery legislation and international investment frameworks – to the extent that...

2014-02-10  |  Janet Eaton
By on February 10, 2014.        A Canadian farming consultant has told AgriLand that the Irish dairy industry will, in all likelihood, be the big winner out of the recent trade deal agreed between Canada and the EU.

“I am aware that many of the EU’s farming bodies have highlighted their concerns regarding Canadain beef accessing EU markets,” added Ontario-based Jay Johnston.

“But in all truth this will not happen. EU health regulations state that only meat from plants that process ‘hormone free’ beef only will be allowed into Europe.

“Plants of this nature do not exist in Canada and I cannot envisage processers setting up stand-alone plants just to gain them access to the European market.

“As it turns out the real...

2014-02-07  |  Janet Eaton

México D.F., January 28-31, 2014 
On the 20th Anniversary of the signing of NAFTA, labor unions, farmers, women, environmentalists, and human rights organizations from Mexico, the United States, Canada and Quebec came together in a Tri-national Forum in Mexico City. We have assessed the impact on human, environmental, labor, social, and cultural rights. We conclude that the benefits of NAFTA were exaggerated to sell the agreement to the public. The promises made were not fulfilled, on the contrary, we have seen a rise in inequality, impoverishment of the vast majority of the population, loss of employment, job insecurity, environmental degradation, deterioration of social cohesion and increased violence.
It is clear that the economic and labor policies imposed by trade agreements lead to increasingly widespread exploitation and commercialization of public goods and ecosystems, as well as to a deepening commodification of women´s bodies. This happens by...


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