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NEWS: Canada has paid $157 million in NAFTA Chapter 11 claims

The Vancouver Sun reports that, “The federal government has paid at least $157 million in damages to foreign investors who have claimed (under NAFTA’s Chapter 11 that) they were discriminated against by such actions as expropriation of land or bans on their products, a new study (by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) says.”

“The hefty bill, which does not include untold legal costs, is the price Canada has paid under a highly controversial provision in the North American Free Trade Agreement to compensate foreign investors and corporations that have cried foul over government measures that hurt their profitability.”

“In Canada, NAFTA’s Chapter 11 has generated strong criticism from Day 1 from labour and environmental groups, the New Democratic Party and the Council of Canadians.”

“Author Scott Sinclair told Postmedia News that Canada’s experience with Chapter 11 should stand as a warning to Europeans and Canadians to be vigilant about what kind of investment guarantees might end up in the planned free-trade agreement between the European Union and Canada. European corporations are pushing hard for strong protections in the pact.”

“Officials familiar with the negotiations said investment protections are a ‘live’ issue but that the players are nowhere near drafting language. Sinclair said the EU-Canadian talks have been very low-profile and most Europeans are likely unaware that such investor protections are on the table.”

To read about the upcoming cases that could cost Canada millions more, please go to ‘UPDATE: The Council of Canadians tracking Chapter 11 challenges’ at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=3233.

One of the NAFTA challenges noted is the AbitibiBowater case. For an update on that, go to ‘NEWS: AbitibiBowater NAFTA settlement sets dangerous precedent’ at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=4935.

The full article on the CCPA report can be read at http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Canada+pays+stiff+price+crossing+foreign+corporations+investors+study/3779149/story.html. The 28-page CCPA report can be read at http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/nafta-chapter-11-investor-state-disputes-1.