[Ip-health] ACTA is back, completed with investment protections

ante ante at ffii.org
Tue Jul 10 07:38:09 PDT 2012


ACTA is back, completed with investment protections
http://acta.ffii.org/?p=1622
with links

July 10, 2012
By Ante

The EU – Canada trade agreement (CETA) contains the same draconian civil and 
criminal measures as ACTA, see Michael Geist. He recommends: “With anti-ACTA 
sentiment spreading across Europe, Canada should push to remove the 
intellectual property chapter from CETA altogether.”

I agree completely: trade agreements and IP regulations have to be 
disentangled.

“CETA must be cancelled altogether (or its repressive ACTA parts must be 
scrapped), or face the same fate as ACTA in the Parliament”, La Quadrature 
warns.

But this is not all. The upcoming trade agreements also contain investment 
protections. Of course, foreign investors have to be protected against 
expropriations. But such protections totally ran out of hand. Even if a 
country changes its laws, foreign investors now claim damages because their 
expected profits are lower. And they do not have to do that for local courts, 
but can do that for secret private arbitration courts. The high damages keep 
legislators hostage. The secret private arbitration courts disregard 
fundamental rights, even public health.

This does not seem compatible with the EU Treaties: only the European Court of 
Justice can be the highest court on EU law.

There is much discussion on how to balance the power between the EU and the EU 
Member States. That is an important discussion. But with such investor 
protections, we give away sovereignty to multinationals.

Health groups recommend (with regards the EU – India trade agreement):

“In order to ensure that the EU-India FTA will not undermine the abilities of 
the EU or India to regulate in the public interest, including in support of 
health and access to medicines, the threat posed by the investment chapter 
must be addressed. Therefore, the Parties should:
• Remove “intellectual property rights (IPR), including goodwill, technical 
processes and know-how as conferred by law” from the definition of “investment” 
in the investment chapter of the proposed EU-India FTA;
• Remove the “investor-to-state” arbitration mechanism from the investment 
chapter;
• Define “Indirect expropriation” and “fair and equitable treatment” precisely 
and narrowly to protect legitimate government regulations in support of public 
health, access to medicines and other public interests from challenge by 
foreign investors;
• Immediately review and reform all existing BITs between European countries 
and India to effect the same changes recommended above."

Any trade agreement containing investor-to-state arbitration mechanisms should 
never pass the European Parliament. They are an assault on democracy.

See

Free-trade agreement between the European Union and Canada: CORPORATIONS MUST 
NOT MAKE THE LAW

The Investment Chapter of the EU-India FTA: Implications for Health

Public Citizen has an excellent overview of the investment protections in the 
TPP (PDF)



More information about the Ip-health mailing list