Huffington Post article describes how companies use “free trade agreements”(actually Corporate Power Agreements) to nullify the actions of our elected governments.
This week, an electronic copy of a quietly filed lawsuit was unearthed, exposing the fact that oil and gas company Lone Pine Resources is moving forward with a $250-million North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) lawsuit against Canada. Why is Lone Pine suing Canada? For the “arbitrary, capricious, and illegal revocation of the Enterprise’s valuable right to mine for oil and gas under [Quebec’s] Saint Lawrence River.” Lone Pine is suing Canada over Quebec’s timeout on fracking. (I wrote about this when Lone Pine filed its intent-to-sue notice last year.) It sounds impossible to believe, but it’s true. NAFTA’s chapter on investment gives foreign corporations the right to sue a government over laws and policies that corporations allege reduce their profits or, in Lone Pine’s words, reduce the “expectation of a stable business and legal environment.” When a new policy or regulation is put in place that a corporation doesn’t like, it can bring the government to a private trade tribunal where the case will get heard by three private sector attorneys, behind closed doors, for taxpayer compensation.