Canadian Minister of International Trade Diversification Jim Carr announced on August 14, 2018 the launch of a public consultation on Canada’s BITs, known as foreign investment promotion and protection agreements (FIPAs). The consultation provides an opportunity for Canadians to express their views on rules and institutions that support the international trade and investment regime.
In the consultation, the Canadian government asks six general questions. The first four focus on how FIPAs can best promote the interests of Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), advance gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, reflect the interests of Indigenous-owned businesses and peoples, and advance and strengthen the notion of responsible business conduct. A fifth question asks how ISDS mechanisms can be made more transparent and fairer. A sixth and final question invites respondents’ views on the advantages and disadvantages of FIPAs and on whether there are other mechanisms that could robustly protect Canadian investor interests abroad.
The Canadian government encourages all Canadians to participate in the consultation. The online consultation platform is open until October 28, 2018.