Press release: EU concerns about investment in Canada trade deal: More reason to include leaked CETA text in review of investor-state dispute settlement

Press Release – PowerShift (Germany)/Council of Canadians (Canada)

EU concerns about investment in Canada trade deal: More reason to include
leaked CETA text in review of investor-state dispute settlement

bxl-ttip-ceta-protest-march-13-2014

Brussels, 14 March 2014 — New analysis of a controversial leaked investment chapter from the
ongoing Canada-EU trade negotiations has prompted the European Commission to rethink key
investor rights language in the treaty. German and Canadian civil society groups say this proves
the need for the Commission to be completely transparent in its consultation on including
investment protection in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and CETA.
“The Commission is either completely disingenuous when it says it wants to protect the right to
regulate in its trade deals with Canada and the US or it is willfully misleading us,” says Peter
Fuchs of PowerShift Germany, one of several European, Canadian and US groups that leaked
key CETA and TTIP investment texts this month at the website eu-secretdeals.info. “We have
hard proof in these leaked texts that the reforms the EU says will make it more difficult for
investors to sue governments are just a smokescreen to confuse the public while CETA and
likely the TTIP would actually make governments more vulnerable to corporate lawsuits
against legitimate public interest regulation and legislation.”

According to Rupert Schlegelmilch, director of services, investment and procurement at DG
Trade, speaking on behalf of the Commission at a public debate yesterday on investor-state
dispute settlement (ISDS) and the TTIP, the EU is rethinking a Most Favoured Nation article in
the CETA investment chapter that new analysis suggests undermines much of the more careful
language in the treaty relating to a government’s ability to regulate. As written, the MFN article
would let Canadian and EU investors ignore the definitions of “fair and equitable treatment” or
“indirect expropriation” in CETA and take other more investor-friendly language from past
agreements signed by either Party.

“What other mistakes have the Commission and Canadian government made in CETA that
compromise the ability of governments to make environmental or public health and consumer
protection policies without worrying they will be sued in private arbitration, behind closed
doors?” asks Stuart Trew, trade campaigner with The Council of Canadians, who participated in
yesterday’s debate with the Commission, which was organized by Friends of the Earth Europe.
“We think the CETA negotiations should be put on hold and the CETA investment chapter
included in the Commission’s upcoming consultation on ISDS. That way we can be sure that if
Europe rejects these corporate rights in one deal it must reject them in both.”

Around the world, ISDS is criticized for giving corporations too many rights to challenge
government regulations and decisions made in the public interest, and to have those challenges
heard by corporate lawyers without any of the judicial oversight we expect from legal courts.
Resistance to ISDS is strong and growing in Europe, with some governments like Germany and
France appearing to reverse their initial support for a strong investor rights chapter in TTIP. The
eu-secretdeals.info website was launched this month to expand the public debate on investment
as widely as possible, and to provide people with information exposing the Commission’s
propaganda campaign in support of ISDS against the overwhelming evidence against it.

More information/contact:
Stuart Trew, Council of Canadians, mobile (in Europe): +32 488 41 61 61 or
strew@canadians.org
Peter Fuchs, PowerShift, +49-30-234 897 05, Peter.Fuchs@power-shift.de

Press release as PDF-document:
press-release-CoC-PowerShift-InvestmentCETA-TTIP-March14-2014-1

Link to secret-deals-Webpage:
http://eu-secretdeals.info/
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