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)

National Observer | 19-May-2022
Canadian mining companies continue to sue developing countries for environmental policies that affect their profitability and often win huge payouts from these poorer countries, a new report states.
Forbes | 19-May-2022
Talos presentó en septiembre al gobierno mexicano notificaciones de disputa en virtud del acuerdo comercial entre Estados Unidos, México y Canadá (T-MEC), un paso previo a la introducción de un reclamo de arbitraje internacional.
CIAR Global | 18-May-2022
La cementera estadounidense Sargeant Petroleum ha presentado un arbitraje de inversiones contra República Dominicana por un contrato de concesión de materiales asfálticos.
Reuters | 18-May-2022
US-based oil producer Talos Energy has temporarily suspended pursuit of an arbitration claim against Mexico amid high-level talks over one of the country’s flagship offshore projects.
CIAR Global | 9-May-2022
El gobierno de Andrés Manuel López Obrador ha ordenado el cierre de las operaciones y cierre en las extracciónes y canteras submanrinas que la compañía estadounidense Vulcan Materials Company administra en Quintana Roo, México. Y lo ha hecho en medio de un arbitraje de inversiones que mantiene con una subsidiaria de la compañía
La Diaria | 28-Apr-2022
Montecon inició el proceso previo a la demanda contra el Estado uruguayo ante un arbitraje internacional, al activar los mecanismos de solución de controversias previstos en tratados de promoción y protección de inversiones.
CIAR Global | 19-Apr-2022
La operadora portuaria chileno-canadiense Montecon, propiedad de la chilena Ultramar y de la canadiense ATCO, recurrirá a arbitraje contra Uruguay por las pérdidas que ha sufrido ante la concesión otorgada a la compañía Katoen Natie.
CIAR Global | 2-Mar-2022
La compañía canadiense Altamesa Energy habría iniciado la etapa de trato directo con Petroperú, previa a recurrir a arbitraje, si no se cumplen los acuerdos relacionados con las operaciones de un lote petrolífero firmados a mediados de 2021. | 2-Mar-2022
In the Gulf of Ulloa, a US treasure-hunting company turned seabed mining outfit poses a dire risk to the environment.
Reuters | 23-Feb-2022
Monterra Energy plans to pursue legal action against Mexico and seek damages of about $667 million for the "unlawful" closure of its Tuxpan fuel imports terminal in the Mexican state of Veracruz for five months.

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