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Globe & Mail correspondent critical of investor-state provision

Here’s something you don’t see every day – the Globe and Mail critical of the investor-state dispute settlement provision found in ‘free trade’ agreements.

National Business Correspondent Barrie McKenna writes, “The drafters of 1994’s North American free-trade agreement gave investors a powerful weapon to sue governments. …Now Canada is the top target of NAFTA investor-state litigation. This country faces eight active NAFTA investment claims, all launched by U.S. companies. If successful, the claims could cost Canadian taxpayers more than $2.5-billion. …Chapter 11 has become a way for companies either to bypass domestic courts and regulatory agencies, or to get restitution denied through normal channels.”

And McKenna warns, “This could have profound implications for Canada as it readies for a new generation of free trade deals, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the just-completed European Union negotiations. In spite of the slew of recent Chapter 11 (investor-state) cases filed against Canada, Ottawa pushed for an investor-state dispute mechanism in the European free-trade deal. Similar provisions are expected to be in the TPP, vastly expanding the number of potential disputes.”

While McKenna highlights the investor-state challenges against Canada in his article, here’s a blog on the challenges that Europe could face from Canadian corporations under CETA.