- About bilaterals.org
- Feb-2016: New ISDS platform launched
- Sep-2004: Launch announcement
- Feb-2015: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Mar-2013: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Jun-2009: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Dec-2008: An update from bilaterals.org and logo design contest announcement
- Dec-2006: bilaterals.org in Spanish & French
- Sep-2006: Update from bilaterals.org
- How to participate
- Key issues
- Texts of agreements
EU seeks stiff rules on free trade deal
EU seeks stiff rules on free trade deal
26 November 2012
By Heather Scoffield, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The European Union wants Canada to agree to compensate European companies for any losses that stem from changes to health, environment or safety rules in Canada, according to documents obtained by The Canadian Press.
A recent draft of the investment chapter of the broad free-trade agreement that Canada and the EU are negotiating shows 50 pages of complex, widespread disagreement between the two governments over how their investors should be treated in the other’s jurisdiction.
Canada initially asked for the investment protections, but as the trade negotiations reach their final hours, Europe appears to be pushing for stiffer rules than Canada wants.
Specifically, the Europeans are resisting Canada’s request to carve out health, safety and the environment from rules about expropriation — even though such clauses have become standard in most of Canada’s trade and investment treaties.
In the Oct. 26 draft, Canada says that “non-discriminatory measures by a party that are designed and applied to protect legitimate public welfare objectives, such as health, safety and the environment, do not constitute indirect expropriations.”
But the text remains bracketed, which means Canada is asking for this wording and Europe has not agreed.
In other European documents published on the weekend by Montreal’s La Presse, EU officials bluntly reject the Canadian position.
“Canada’s proposed text would permit expropriation without compensation, in order to pursue legitimate policy objectives. This should not be accepted,” says the note from the European Commission to its member states, dated Nov. 6 and obtained by Quebec’s CAQ party.
Instead, the EU says companies should always be fully compensated if their businesses are hurt by government policy, regardless of the good intentions of the policy.
The EU is also pushing for stronger investor rights in Canada’s protected financial-services sector, the memo shows.
The EU also wants Canada to narrow its protections of cultural industries from foreign investment. The union is also arguing for better investor access to the telecom industry, and wants Canada to exempt its companies from the “net benefits” test the government routinely applies to approve or reject foreign takeovers, the memo says.
News from the movements
27-May-2016 UNI Global UNIHoy UNI Global UNI y los sindicatos afiliados piden a los gobiernos para organizar con urgencia un debate público democrático sobre los impactos potenciales de Tisa.
25-May-2016 abcBurkinaAujourd’hui, lundi 23 mai 2016, seuls le Nigeria et la Gambie n’ont pas signé cet APE. Est-ce une bonne ou une mauvaise nouvelle ?
25-May-2016 FocusThe Philippine government is hoping the EU-Philippines FTA wil facilitate more tuna exports to the EU, but the industry is riddled with issues of low wages, unfair labor practices, poor and slave-like working conditions.
24-May-2016 TNIThe Philippines has a web of investment treaties which severely constrain the government’s ability to regulate or close polluting mines, a legal straitjacket that will become even tighter if the EU–Philippines Free Trade Agreement and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) proceed
23-May-2016 TNIEuropean municipalities join the battle against TTIP to protect sovereignty and public services, demonstrating how to take political initiative and build an alternative economy
20-May-2016 AITECDans l’ombre du traité transatlantique entre l’Union européenne et les États-Unis (TAFTA), les chefs d’États de l’UE pourraient bientôt approuver un accord de commerce et d’investissement tout aussi inquiétant.
20-May-2016 Local FuturesThe Global to Local Webinar Series addresses key issues in the global to local debate.
19-May-2016 S2BA new leak reveals that 5 EU member states are proposing to introduce investor-to-state dispute settlement for all cross-border investments within the EU.
bilaterals.org is a collaborative space to share information and support movements struggling against bilateral trade and investment deals which serve corporations, not people. Multilingual. Global. No one owns it. Open publishing. Get involved.