29 February 2016

Another TTP/TTIP Talking Point Shown to be a Lie

One of the claims made by the supporters of current and pending trade deals is that the US has never been sued through the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) process, with the implication that such a suit will simply never happen.

Not so much:
A $15 billion lawsuit by the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline against the US government shows the serious threat to democracy posed by special privileges for investors, a new report has said. TransCanada is suing under investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clauses of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to demand damages following rejection of the controversial pipeline due to its climate impact.

Keystone illustrates how the increasingly common ISDS clauses, that are contained in the draft EU-Canada trade agreement (CETA) and the proposed EU-US deal (TTIP), can be used to undermine climate action, the report by T&E, Friends of the Earth Europe and Sierra Club stated.

Last year US president Barack Obama denied permission to build the US-stage of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have transported crude oil from Canada’s tar sands to American refineries, as it was not in the interest of national security and would have undercut America’s climate leadership. TransCanada’s lawsuit is under chapter 11 of NAFTA, which allows multinational corporations to sue governments if they feel they have not been treated as a domestic company would have been.

TransCanada has reportedly invested $3.1 billion in the project but is seeking five times this amount in damages. It will be able to launch its case as early as May 2016. A three-judge tribunal will issue a ruling, which cannot be appealed to any national court. It can award damages but not force the US to grant permission for Keystone to be built.
The ISDS process as currently practiced is a morass of corruption and opacity.

It's underlying philosophy is that government has no rights to protect the common good, and that any lost profits as a result is a taking.

It is a perverted and evil thing.


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