[A2k] fwd [2] Excessive Corporate Rights in Canada-EU Trade Deal Are Unacceptable

Ante Wessels ante at ffii.org
Wed Feb 6 08:41:42 PST 2013

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----- Forwarded message from Pia Eberhardt <pia at corporateeurope.org> -----

Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2013 08:55:41 +0100
From: Pia Eberhardt <pia at corporateeurope.org>
To: Ante Wessels <ante at ffii.org>
Subject: Excessive Corporate Rights in Canada-EU Trade Deal Are
X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.936)

Trade Justice Network  *  Quebec Network on Continental Integration  *
Seattle to Brussels Network

Excessive Corporate Rights in Canada-EU Trade Deal Are Unacceptable to
Broad Section of European, Canadian and Quebec Society

(Marketwire - Feb. 6, 2013) - Labour, environmental, Indigenous,
women's, academic, health sector and fair trade organizations from
Europe, Canada and Quebec representing more than 65 million people are
demanding that Canada and the EU stop negotiating an excessive and
controversial investor rights chapter in the proposed Comprehensive
Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The groups issued a joint
statement today ahead of a two-day meeting in Ottawa between European
Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and Canadian International Trade
Minister Ed Fast, where the two hope to move the CETA negotiations
forward if not to conclude an agreement.

"We will vigorously oppose any transatlantic agreement that
compromises our democracies, human and Indigenous rights, and our
right to protect our health and the planet," says the transatlantic
statement, endorsed by more than 70 organizations. "We urge the EU and
Canadian governments to follow the lead of the Australian government
by stopping the practice of including investor-state dispute
settlement in their trade and investment agreements, and to open the
door to a broad re-writing of trade and investment policy to balance
out corporate interests against the greater public interest."

Investor-state dispute settlement is a process found in many Canadian
and European trade and investment agreements, including NAFTA and the
hundreds of bilateral investment treaties that EU members states have
signed with developing countries and with each other. The process
allows a firm in one country to sue the government of the other
country if the firm feels its investor rights have been violated. In a
very real sense, these investment rules create a parallel legal system
for multinational corporations and private investors, who are using
them increasingly to challenge environmental, public health and other
government policies, decisions, laws and measures that interfere in
some way with the "right" to make a profit.

Recent high-profile cases include the $250-million NAFTA lawsuit
threatened by Lone Pine Resources against Quebec's ban on hydraulic
fracturing ("fracking"), a EUR3.7-billion claim by Swedish Energy firm
Vattenfall against Germany's decision to phase out nuclear power,
ExxonMobil and Murphy Oil's successful case against provincial profit-
sharing rules on offshore oil development, and U.S.-based Renco
Group's $800-million claim against a Peruvian requirement to clean up
the extreme pollution caused by its smelter in La Oroya.

"Qualitative research suggests that the treaties are not a decisive
factor in whether investors go abroad... Based on a lack of economic
benefits, and evidence that investment treaties do pose risks to
environmental measures, a Sustainability Impact Assessment of CETA
urged the European Union not to include [investor-state dispute
settlement] in the agreement. Like the European Parliament, this
independent report for the European Commission suggested a state-to-
state dispute process is more appropriate in the EU-Canada context,"
says the joint statement issued today by transatlantic civil society

The Australian government decided in 2011 it would stop including
these rights and investor-state dispute settlement in its trade and
investment agreements. Many countries, including South Africa and
India, are rethinking their investment treaties because of the way
corporations and law firms have abused them to undermine democracy and
public policies globally. Several Latin American countries are
cancelling their investment treaties for the same reason.

In 1998, European and Canadian opposition to investor-state dispute
settlement put an end to the planned Multilateral Investment
Agreement, which would have extended these extreme investor
protections to the entire OECD region. In the same spirit and in light
of the rebirth of this failed corporate project in the Canada-EU trade
deal, the European, Canadian and Quebec groups listed below "demand
that the EU and Canada cease negotiating investor rights and an
investor-state dispute settlement process into the CETA."

To read the full statement: http://tradejustice.ca

Endorsed in Europe: 11.11.11 (Belgium), AITEC (France), ACV-CSC
(Belgium), Attac Austria (Austria), Attac-France (France), Attac Liège
(Belgium), ATTAC VLAANDEREN (Belgium), Both Ends (Netherlands), Center
for Research and Documentation Chile-Latin America (Germany), CFTC,
Confédération française des travailleurs chrétiens (France), CNCD -
11.11.11 (Belgium), Corporate Europe Observatory (Belgium),
Ecologistas en Aciòn (Spain), European Federation of Public Services
Unions (EPSU), European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), Fairwatch
(Italy), Food & Water Europe, Foundation for a Free Information
Infrastructure (FFII - Germany), FTM-CGT (France), Global Social
Justice (Belgium), International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC),
Labour, Health and Human Rights Development Centre (Nigeria),
PowerShift (Germany), Stichting Vrijschrift (Netherlands), SOMO
(Netherlands), Transnational Institute (Netherlands), World Economy,
Ecology & Development (Germany), Zukunftskonvent (Germany)

Endorsed in Canada: Canadian Association of University Teachers,
Canadian Auto Workers, Canadian Environmental Law Association,
Canadian Federation of Students (CFS-FCEE), Canadian Health Coalition,
Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Canadian Union of Postal Workers
(CUPW), Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Common Frontiers,
Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP), Council
of Canadians, Greenpeace Canada, Hupacasath First Nation, National
Farmers Union, National Union of Public and General Employees, Ontario
Council of Hospital Unions, Polaris Institute, Public Service Alliance
of Canada, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, Sierra Club
Canada, (Tsalalh) Seton Lake Indian Band, Trade Justice Network,
United Steelworkers

Endorsed in Quebec: Réseau québécois sur l'intégration continentale
(RQIC), Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé
et des services sociaux (APTS), Alternatives, Association canadienne
des avocats du mouvement syndical (ACAMS-CALL), Association québécoise
des organismes de coopération internationale (AQOCI), Attac-Québec,
Centrale des Syndicats démocratiques (CSD), Centrale des Syndicats du
Québec (CSQ), Confédération des Syndicats nationaux (CSN), Conseil
central du Montréal métropolitain (CCMM-CSN), Eau Secours!, Fédération
des femmes du Québec (FFQ), Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec
(FECQ), Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ),
Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ),
Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ), Ligue
des droits et libertés, Mouvement d'éducation populaire et d'action
communautaire du Québec (MÉPACQ), Réseau québécois des groupes
écologistes (RQGE), Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique section
Québec (SCFP-Québec), Syndicat de professionnelles et professionnels
du gouvernement du Québec (SPGQ), Union des consommateurs

* * * * * * * * * * *
P i a   E b e r h a r d t
Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO)
Cranachstraße 48
50733 Cologne

Tel.: ++49 (0)221 789 678 10
Mobile: ++49 (0) 152 56 30 91 02
pia at corporateeurope.org
skype: piaebse

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