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)

Newind Press | 8-Jul-2005
The Dabhol settlement process is almost complete with US-based Bechtel Corp finally informing the Indian side that it’s willing to settle and not proceed with international arbitration.
Bangkok Post | 6-May-2005
The Thai government must become more efficient and enact more ironclad laws in order to avoid unnecessary legal disputes with US investors once the Thailand-US free trade area (FTA) agreement takes effect, says a local researcher.
| 7-Apr-2005
Scotiabank has filed a $600 million US compensation claim against Argentina, claiming that "discriminatory" actions taken by Argentine authorities led to the total loss of its investment in its Scotiabank Quilmes subsidiary in 2002.
Straight Goods | 7-Feb-2005
On January 24, the Council of Canadians and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) launched a constitutional challenge against NAFTA’s Chapter 11 rules before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. This is the first time that a court will consider the constitutionality of international trade rules.
| 12-Jan-2005
The graffiti on the walls in Quito ask if the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that the US is pushing on Colombia, Peru and Ecuador means that our days are numbered.
| 12-Jan-2005
En estos días las pintas quiteñas preguntan si con el Tratado de Libre Comercio (TLC) que EEUU está impulsando con Colombia, Perú y Ecuador ¿tenemos los días contados?
| 22-Sep-2004
Decision of ICSID Tribunal (July 17, 2003) in regard to objections to jurisdiction in CMS Gas Transmission Company vs The Republic of Argentina. CMS bases its claim against Argentina on a 1991 Argentina-US Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT).
| 16-Sep-2004
The free trade agreement the United States plans to negotiate with the Andean countries of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru should contain an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism, witnesses at a Trade Policy Staff Committee hearing on the Andean FTA said March 17.
Vannessa drops all Las Cristinas Venezuelan appeals | 2-Aug-2004
In order to meet the requirements to submit its Las Cristanas dispute to international arbitration, junior explorationist Vanessa Ventures [VV] of Calgary, Alberta, has dropped five appeals to Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice.

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