North America

Canada and the United States have signed about 180 investment agreements.

They are both party to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico. Sixty-seven disputes were launched under NAFTA.

NAFTA was recently renegotiated and replaced by the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that was signed in November 2018 and is yet to enter in force. The investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism between the US and Canada, and between Mexico and Canada has been removed – even though it is included in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, to which both Mexico and Canada belong. Only limited claims are allowed between the US and Mexico, after exhaustion of local remedies. But the ISDS mechanism has been maintained between the two countries for claims pertaining to Mexico’s oil and gas sector.

The US is also party to the Dominican Republic–Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), with six Central American states. US investors have initiated all 11 known CAFTA disputes.

Canada has an investment treaty with China and is party to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union. CETA includes a revised ISDS mechanism, the investment court system, which has been critiqued for not addressing the core of the problem behind the mechanism.

US investors have extensively used the ISDS mechanism. They have initiated around 180 disputes, over 17% of all known cases, making the US the most frequent home state of investors. The US has never lost an ISDS case.

Canadian investors have initiated about 50 disputes and Canada has been the fourth most frequent target among ‘developed’ states (9th globally), with 29 cases.

Photo: Public Citizen

(April 2020)

El Comercio | 18-Nov-2022
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Euractiv | 14-Nov-2022
The German government has announced its intention to withdraw from the Energy Charter Treaty, following similar decisions in other large EU countries, which left activists jubilant.
La Tribune | 14-Nov-2022
Cette convention permet aux géants de l’énergie de se retourner contre les États signataires qui mèneraient des politiques climatiques défavorables à leurs investissements. Dans le même temps, l’Allemagne va ratifier l’accord CETA.
Prospera | 10-Nov-2022
In accordance with the Dominican Republic–Central America–United States Free Trade Agreement, Honduras Próspera Inc. and its affiliates submit to the Republic of Honduras this written notice of their intention to submit claims to arbitration.
Proceso Digital | 4-Nov-2022
"En septiembre recibimos notificación de la nota que entregó ZEDE. El tema es que a más tardar el 16 de diciembre tienen que meter solicitud e iniciar el arbitraje", el ministro de la Secretaría de Desarrollo Económico dijo.
The Real News Network | 3-Nov-2022
US senators argue that abolishing special economic zones known as ZEDEs would violate the provisions of CAFTA-DR, including the provision ensuring “fair and equitable treatment and full protection and security.”
KBS | 17-Oct-2022
Should the claims be accepted, the amount the South Korean government has to pay to Lone Star would be reduced to a little over 216 million U.S. dollars.
Korea Herald | 10-Oct-2022
South Korea has spent nearly 68.5 billion won ($48.1 million) in total to fight and settle investor-state dispute settlements since 2013,#including its battle with US-based private equity firm Lone Star, data showed.
Pulse | 3-Oct-2022
The South Korean government is found to have spent nearly $40 million in litigation expenses for its decade-long legal dispute against US private equity firm Lone Star Funds.
Foodwatch | 30-Sep-2022
The trade agreement disempowers the European Parliament and strengthens the influence of corporations.

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