Canada-China Free Trade Agreements
In September 2012, Canada signed a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) with China. FIPAs are Canada’s name for bilateral investment treaties, which are used by large global corporations to challenge public policies or local decisions that stand in the way of their profits. The first Canadian FIPA was a single chapter (Chapter 11) of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Due to the extreme investment protections included in NAFTA, Canada was forced to pay out $160 million to large U.S. corporations that challenged certain public decisions, including environmental policies. Some Canadian mining companies are using FIPAs in their work in developing countries to seek compensation following opposition from communities struggling against the implementation of megaprojects.