Analysis finds EU-Canada trade deal would unleash wave of investor lawsuits

This first in-depth analysis of investor rights in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada by T&E and 14 other environmental NGOs, citizens’ groups and workers unions from both sides of the Atlantic finds that CETA grants even greater rights to foreign investors than the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – increasing the risk that corporations will use CETA to constrain future government policy. It would unleash a wave of corporate lawsuits against Canada, the EU and its member states, particularly in the mining and financial sectors.

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Under NAFTA’s so-called investor-state dispute settlement provisions, Canada has been sued 35 times and has paid €121 million (CAD$171.5 million) in damages to foreign investors, including for laws to protect the public. Under CETA, the risks for Canada of being sued by banks, insurers and holding companies over financial regulations will increase significantly. Meanwhile, the EU and its member states particularly risk being sued by Canadian mining, oil and gas companies, which are already engaged in a number of controversial natural resource projects across Europe.

The analysis is published in English, French and German. The executive summary in English is also available to download below, and click here for French and German versions.