Factsheet: NAFTA’s Chapter 11 - A threat to the environment and public policy

When the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was implemented in 1994, it introduced new corporate investment rights and protections unprecedented in scope and power. While there are many aspects of NAFTA that threaten social and environmental priorities, the investor-state dispute process found in Chapter 11 puts public policies aimed at protecting people and the environment at the most risk. Chapter 11 gives corporations the right to sue the Canadian government, often for tens of millions of dollars, if any public policy or government action denies them investment or profit opportunities.