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Canadians tell Trudeau they don’t want Chapter 11 in NAFTA

The Council of Canadians has long opposed the Chapter 11 investor-state dispute settlement provision in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Bloomberg now reports, “The most frequent advice the government heard in public consultations before NAFTA talks opened in August was to eliminate Chapter 11, the part of the pact that deals with investor-state dispute settlement, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg News through a freedom of information request.”

That article adds, “The government began the consultation process last year by asking for written submissions from the public after the U.S. gave notice it wanted to renegotiate the 24-year-old agreement.”

It then notes, “Of about 200 letters and emails released by the government, 50 demanded the removal of Chapter 11 on the basis that it gives companies too much power.”

While the Trudeau government has proposed ‘reforming’ the investment provision in NAFTA, the article highlights, “Paring back Chapter 11 isn’t good enough, the mechanism needs to be removed completely, according to Sujata Dey, a trade campaigner at the Council of Canadians, a non-profit social justice group. ‘It doesn’t actually get rid of the fundamental problem, which is that companies are given binding rights’, she said from Montreal. Just reforming Chapter 11 ‘wouldn’t be a satisfying move’.”

The Council of Canadians joins with OpenMedia and other allies in calling for the government to release the findings of all 46,400 submissions sent to them on NAFTA. Failing to do so reveals the ‘consultation’ as merely a public relations exercise, rather than a genuine consultation.

To sign our online petition – Tell Trudeau to drop Chapter 11 in NAFTA! – please click here. Foreign Affairs minister Chrystia Freeland will be in Washington on Thursday to discuss NAFTA with her counterparts, so please sign today to send an important message in advance of those talks!