NAFTA Chapter 11 an increasing threat to the public good

All levels of government, particularly in Canada, are being targeted by investors for alleged breaches of Chapter 11, NAFTA’s investment chapter, says a new report by CCPA trade analyst Scott Sinclair.

The report documents all 66 known NAFTA investor-state claims (to October 2010) and analyses recent key developments, including the Canadian government’s troubling decision to settle AbitibiBowater’s NAFTA claim by paying the company $CAD 130 million.

Investor-state claims as of October 1, 2010 include 28 against Canada, 19 against the U.S., and 19 against Mexico. Canada has paid out NAFTA damages totaling $CAD157 million, while Mexico has paid damages of $US187 million. The U.S. has yet to lose a NAFTA chapter 11 case. All three governments have incurred tens of millions of dollars in legal costs to defend themselves against investor claims.

“This situation has become a legal and economic minefield, with governments too often finding that the best interests of their citizens are trumped by the ability of multinationals to make profits,“ the study notes.

Click here to read the whole study.