CETA: Why the big rush to ratify?

After spending all year consulting with Canadians on the pros and cons of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement (TPP), the Trudeau government is close to ratifying an equally controversial, equally intrusive deal with Europe: the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Like the TPP, CETA was negotiated almost entirely by the previous…
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Investor court in CETA does not fix problems with investor-state dispute settlement

Last week, the Belgian region of Wallonia ground the signing of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) to an unexpected halt. Although the Walloons have since won some concessions that persuaded them to let Belgium sign CETA (which is now proceeding to the ratification phase), their intervention was,…
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CETA to be signed unchanged, but less likely to be ratified after Wallonian resistance

A week of pressure from four Belgian regions opposed to CETA, led by the courageous Walloons, has produced a revised “joint interpretive instrument” and, importantly, a new list of conditions that must be met before Belgium can ratify the deal. The instrument, agreed to Thursday and part of a package…
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Wallonia’s inspiring stand on CETA

Today the regional government of Wallonia in Belgium rebuffed Canada’s last-minute efforts to salvage a deeply flawed and increasingly unpopular transatlantic free trade agreement. By standing firm under incredible pressure (and a considerable amount of bullying), First Minister Paul Magnette gave a voice to millions of citizens who feel the…
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Flimsy CETA declaration leaves public services, water policy vulnerable in Canada-EU deal

After a year of large public demonstrations against Canada-EU free trade, which have—refreshingly—given some European politicians cold feet, the Canadian government and European Commission have been scrambling to make CETA more palatable to EU member states before an important October 18 vote on the deal. Their main weapon is a…
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Futureshock: CETA and democratic governance

Imagine a far-off dystopia when foreign corporations are given the same status as citizens in public hearings. When the overriding priority for government in issuing licenses for fracking, pipeline and other projects is to make the process simple for corporations. When, regardless of how much a project is opposed by…
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Canada-EU trade deal will result in job losses, lower wages, and worse inequality

In Europe this weekend over 100,000 people are expected to protest the proposed Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). They are the latest in a series of massive, anti-free trade actions, including a 150,000-strong demonstration in Berlin last October. Earlier this month, German activists launched a constitutional challenge against…
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How a Russian mining company used a Canadian investment treaty to sue Venezuela for $1.5 billion

Rusoro Mining declared victory yesterday in its four-year legal battle with the government of Venezuela over the nationalization of the gold industry in 2011. The company was awarded US$1.2 billion ($1.5B) by the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The dispute began in 2011, when then-president…
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