Agriculture & food

The investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism included in most trade and investment agreements gives foreign investors the right to challenge national laws and regulations related to agriculture and food, would these regulations represent an obstacle to their profits.

About 4% of all ICSID cases concerned agriculture, fishing and forestry issues as of end of 2019.

Most well-known cases include:

• Corn Products International (US) vs. Mexico: in 2009 US$58.4 million were awarded to the agribusiness producer of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) – a derived sweetener linked to obesity. The investor challenged a government tax levied on beverages sweetened with HFCS (NAFTA invoked).

• Cargill (US) vs. Mexico: US$90.7 million awarded to the food-processing giant in 2009. The investor successfully challenged the abovementioned Mexican tax on HFCS (NAFTA invoked).

• Micula (Sweden) vs. Romania: US$250 million awarded to the multiple food-processing company in 2013, following the termination of incentives from the Romanian government in order to comply with EU law (Romania-Sweden BIT invoked).

(March 2020)

The Citizen | 5-Feb-2018
A Johannesburg businessman, trying to sue the Mozambique government for over $91 million (R1 billion), has taken the SA government to court after officials allegedly sided with the neighbouring country in the dispute.
Parti Sosialis Malaysia | 30-Jan-2018
It is now time we open up the dialogue on the kind of trade agreements that we want to see in place.
IATP | 16-Jan-2018
The actions of the Trump Administration and Congress have, in one year, established a pattern of cynical disregard for rural communities, hostility toward science, and an unbridled scorn for the principles and practice of democratic governance.
The Diplomat | 17-Oct-2017
The RCEP has hidden costs for people’s lives
APWLD | 14-Oct-2017
RCEP will give multinational corporations unprecedented rights
People over Profit | 7-Sep-2017
Philippine civil society groups and social movements stand together to oppose RCEP
CIAR Global | 2-Aug-2017
Las españolas Consorcio Andino SL y Valores Mundiales SL, subsidiarias de Gruma, líder en producción de harinas y derivados de maíz de México, han ganado un arbitraje contra Venezuela por una expropiación en 2010 que afectó a las inversiones de ambas compañías
People’s Forum against FTAs and RCEP | 28-Jul-2017
“Tell us at least now who gains from RCEP,” People’s Forum challenges the Indian government as the 19th round of RCEP negotiations comes to an end
APWLD | 13-Jul-2017
The ’No RCEP’ campaign urges governments to consider the adverse impact of the mega free trade agreement

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