In their new book, Jonathan Bonnitcha, LaugePoulsen and Michael Waibel develop a coherent structure for policy analysis of investment treaties that should attract interest as governments review their treaty policies. It argues that investment treaties as currently applied often appear poorly tailored to address identifiable economic concerns.
The three parties to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) held the third, fourth and fifth rounds of renegotiation (Ottawa, September 23–27; Arlington, October 11–17; and Mexico City, November 17–21). The next round of NAFTA renegotiations is scheduled for January 23–28, 2018 in Montreal.
Does the prospect of foreign investor claims against countries in investor–state arbitration lead to regulatory chill? The authors asked officials whether ISDS contributed to changes in the internal vetting of government decisions on environmental protection.
Following U.S. President Trump’s initiative to renegotiate the NAFTA, the first round of negotiation took place in Washington, D.C. from August 16–20, 2017 and the second in Mexico City from September 1–5, 2017.
Trade ministers from 11 signatory countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership met on May 21, 2017 in Hanoi, Vietnam, to discuss the future of the agreement during an APEC meeting.
Eli Lilly and Company v. The Government of Canada, UNCITRAL, ICSID Case No. UNCT/14/2
On January 23, 2017, fulfilling a campaign pledge, U.S. President Donald Trump formally withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), signed in February 2016. The Trump administration indicated that it would pursue bilateral agreements instead. In his campaign, the U.S. President also promised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico. In a meeting […]
ICSID tribunal dismisses claims brought against Indonesia based on forged mining licences Churchill Mining PLC and Planet Mining Pty Ltd v. Republic of Indonesia, ICSID Case No. ARB/12/14 and ICSID Case No. ARB/12/40 Inaê Siqueira de Oliveira [*] After rendering separate decisions on jurisdiction¾one for the case brought by British company Churchill Mining PLC under the United […]
Windstream Energy LLC v. Government of Canada, PCA Case No. 2013-22 An arbitral tribunal under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has reached the award stage. Although dismissing the discrimination and indirect expropriation claims, the tribunal upheld the claim of failure to provide fair and equitable treatment (FET), and ordered Canada […]
The long-expected final award has been rendered in the high-profile case initiated by tobacco giant Philip Morris in early 2010 against Uruguay over its tobacco control measures.
An arbitration tribunal constituted under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has issued its award subject to a dissenting opinion.
TransCanada initiates NAFTA arbitration against the United States over rejection of Keystone XL pipeline
On January 6, 2016, TransCanada initiated arbitration against the United States for “unreasonably delaying approval” of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and ultimately denying, in November 2015, the company’s application for the required Presidential Permit. Alleging the United States breached its non-discrimination, expropriation, and fair and equitable treatment commitments under the North American Free Trade […]
UNCITRAL tribunal finds Canada’s environmental assessment breached international minimum standard of treatment and national treatment standard
William Ralph Clayton, William Richard Clayton, Douglas Clayton, Daniel Clayton and Bilcon of Delaware Inc. v. Government of Canada, UNCITRAL
Canada receives investor complaints over provincial energy and environment policies In recent months the government of Canada has received two complaints related to energy and environmental policies adopted by its provinces. Both investors have served Ottawa with notices of intent to submit a claim to arbitration under NAFTA’s investment chapter. A Delaware-based energy firm is […]
As governments increasingly turn to renewable energy to mitigate climate change, domestic climate-related policies in the form of price support measures such as feed-in tariffs (FiTs) have played an important role in stimulating the much needed investment—public and private, domestic and foreign—in the sector. Feed-in tariffs are characterized by guaranteed electricity purchase prices (set higher […]
Australia to reject investor-state dispute resolution in TPPA The Australian government will not sign on to investor-state dispute resolution provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), according to an Australian government official. “We have made it clear that we will no longer be seeking investor-state dispute settlement provisions in trade agreements,” said the Australian Minister […]
US court vacates award against Argentina BG Group Plc v. Argentina Lise Johnson A US appellate court has vacated an award against Argentina in a decision that may give investors pause before attempting to bypass treaty provisions requiring that they first pursue their claims in the host state’s courts. The long course of the dispute […]
More legal woes for Canada’s Feed-in Tariff program for renewable energy Canada could soon be faced with arbitration for alleged breach of its obligations under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). On 6 July 2011, a Texas-based company, Mesa Power Group LLC, served Canada with a Notice of Intent to Submit a Claim to […]
One of the more politically controversial aspects of international investment protection treaties is the liability of a State when political sub-divisions are found to have breached that State’s treaty obligations to foreign investors. This issue is particularly significant in federal States, such as Canada, the United States, Australia or Germany, among others, where sub-national governments […]
Canada and Dow Chemical settle claim over pesticide ban A controversial NAFTA investment dispute between Dow AgroSciences and the government of Canada was settled this May. The settlement agreement involves no money exchanging hands, and the Province of Quebec will continue to restrict the use the lawn pesticides – the measure that prompted Dow to […]
Philip Morris v. Uruguay: Will investor-State arbitration send restrictions on tobacco marketing up in smoke?
For nearly two decades, the tobacco industry has used international investment rules to challenge governmentrestrictions on cigarette marketing. In 1994, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company threatened to bring a claim under the North American Free Trade Agreement’s (NAFTA) investment chapter as part of its successful lobbying campaign against Canada’s proposed “plain packaging” legislation, which would have […]
Investment arbitration and the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement: Time for a change?
With the seventh round of negotiations between Canada and the European Union over the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) completed this April, and the eighth round scheduled for July, the involved nations are closer than ever to being subject to the investment arbitration provisions of another free trade agreement. Canadian critics of CETA […]
Working group moves slowly on agreement for transparency in UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules A working group of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) met from 7-11 February 2011 in New York to discuss public access to information about disputes between investors and states under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. The meeting marked the second […]
Ignacio Torterola In October, State delegations are expected to discuss the issue of transparency in the UNCITRAL Rules of Arbitration. Ignacio Torterola, ICSID Liaison at the Argentine Embassy in Washington, DC, and Argentine Delegate to the UNCITRAL Working Group II, explains why greater openness would benefit the investment arbitration system. Some preliminary considerations Working Group […]
Michigan owner and operator of busy trade route prepares to file a second NAFTA claim against Canada
By Elizabeth Whitsitt May 11, 2010 A Notice of Intent forwarded to Canada earlier this year by US owner and operator of the Ambassador Bridge contends that the Canadian government has violated its obligations under NAFTA Chapter 11. Facilitating a significant amount of trade between the US and Canada, the Ambassador Bridge is an international […]
By Elizabeth Whitsitt March 11, 2010 (NOTE: two corrections have been made to this article. See explanations below.) A three-member tribunal, composed of Mr. Fali S. Nariman, Professor S. James Anaya, and Mr. John R. Crook, has heard arguments on the merits of the dispute between Grand River Enterprises Six Nations, Ltd., et al. and the […]
Canadian mining firm accused of links to murder of protester, threatens arbitration over mine closure in Chiapas
By Fernando Cabrera Diaz March 11, 2010 Calgary-based mining firm Blackfire Exploration has reportedly threatened Mexican officials in Chiapas with NAFTA Chapter 11 arbitration in response to the closure of its barite mine in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. The mine’s closure came on the heels of intense local protests against the mine following […]
By Eliabeth Whitsitt February 14, 2010 Canada has nominated Mr. Laurent Lévy to act as arbitrator in its Chapter 11 NAFTA dispute against US investor Vito G. Gallo. Canada’s original nominee, Mr. J. Christopher Thomas Q.C., resigned from his appointment as an arbitrator in October, 2009 after ICSID Deputy Secretary-General, Nassib G. Ziade, determined that […]
By Elizabeth Whitsitt December 6, 2009 Mr. J. Christopher Thomas Q.C. has resigned from his appointment as an arbitrator in a Chapter 11 NAFTA dispute initiated by US investor Vito G. Gallo against the Canadian government. Canada’s nominee to the tribunal resigned on October 21, 2009, one week after ICSID Deputy Secretary-General, Nassib G. Ziade, […]
By Elizabeth Whitsitt 2 October 2009 Mexico has suffered another loss in a series of investor-state arbitral disputes involving its sugar industry. While attempts have been made by Mexico to consolidate similar cases involving its sugar trade, such efforts have been unsuccessful resulting in a number of separate arbitral decisions. Most recently, a tribunal convened […]
By Fernando Cabrera Diaz 2 October 2009 Chemtura Corporation’s dispute with Canada over the phase-out of the agro-chemical Lindane headed to oral hearings in September after 8 years of legal wrangling. Chemtura, a U.S.-based chemical manufacturer, claims that Canada violated Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) when it banned Lindane in […]
By Elizabeth Whitsitt 2 September 2009 The United Mexican States has suffered yet another setback in its long and protracted dispute with the United States of America over the sugar trade and the Mexican sweetener industry. As noted in the May 2009 edition of ITN*, a NAFTA tribunal found Mexico liable to Corn Products International […]
Glamis Gold Ltd. v. United States of America: Tribunal sets a high bar for establishing breach of “Fair and Equitable Treatment” under NAFTA
By Elizabeth Whitsitt and Damon Vis-Dunbar 15 July 2009 A protracted dispute between the United States of America and Glamis Gold Ltd., a Canadian gold mining company, was settled in June by an arbitral tribunal constituted under Chapter 11 of NAFTA. In a unanimous 355-page decision, the Tribunal dismissed Glamis’ claims that the US expropriated […]
By Elizabeth Whitsitt 8 June 2009 Oral hearings were held in May over a claim by an American forestry and land management company against the Government of Canada for damages of US$25 million for alleged breaches of NAFTA Chapter 11. At the heart of Merrill & Ring’s complaint is a complex regulatory regime in Canada […]
Grupo de transportistas mexicanos lanza diferencia contra EUA bajo el Capítulo 11 del TLCAN sobre prohibición de transporte terrestre
Por Fernando Cabrera Diaz 28 de Abril, 2009 El grupo industrial de transportistas mexicanos, CANACAR, ha iniciado un arbitraje bajo el Capítulo 11 contra Estados Unidos, alegando que EUA violó sus compromisos del TLCAN al prohibir a las empresas transportistas mexicanas operar libremente dentro de sus fronteras. La diferencia en torno al servicio de transporte […]
Por Howard Mann, Asesor Senior en Derecho Internacional del Instituto Internacional de Desarrollo Sostenible 2 de Mayo 2009 El 31 de marzo de 2009 Dow AgroSciences LLC, subsidiaria de la Empresa Química Dow de EUA, inició un arbitraje bajo el Capítulo 11 del TLCAN contra Canadá debido a la prohibición de productos químicos del césped […]
By Howard Mann, Senior International Legal Advisor to the International Institute for Sustainable Development 2 May 2009 On 31 March 2009 Dow AgroSciences LLC, a subsidiary of the U.S. Dow Chemical Company, initiated its NAFTA Chapter 11 arbitration against Canada due to the banning of cosmetic lawn chemicals in the province of Quebec. This is […]
By Fernando Cabrera Diaz 28 April 2009 The Mexican trucking industry group CANACAR has initiated Chapter 11 arbitration against the United States, alleging that the U.S. has violated its NAFTA commitments by barring Mexican trucking companies from operating freely within its borders. The cross-border trucking services dispute between Mexico and the United States originated in […]
Tribunal rejects the Defense of Countermeasures in recently published Corn Products International Inc. v. The United Mexican States award
By Elizabeth Whitsitt 28 April 2009 In a recently published ICSID award, a tribunal found Mexico liable to an American company, Corn Products International Inc. (CPI) and its wholly-owned Mexican subsidiary, Corn Products Ingredientes (CPIng) for violating NAFTA Chapter 11. While the 15 January 2008 decision does not address the extent of Mexico’s liabilities, it […]
Por Elizabeth Whitsitt 16 de Febrero 2009 Hace quince años entró en vigencia el Tratado de Libre Comercio de America del Norte (TLCAN) y se convirtió en el primer tratado de comercio regional entre un país en desarrollo (México) y dos naciones desarrolladas (Canadá y los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica). Si bien surgieron un número […]
By Damon Vis-Dunbar 27 February 2009 The head of the Canadian Assembly of First Nations Peoples has voiced his support for a group of Canadian investors in a tobacco company who are suing the U.S. government for alleged violations of NAFTA Chapter 11. As ITN reported in January, the claimants – the tobacco company Grand […]
By Elizabeth Whitsitt 16 February 2009 Fifteen years ago the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) entered into force and became the first regional trade agreement between a developing country (Mexico) and two developed nations (Canada and the United States of America). While a number of criticisms and controversies have arisen with respect to different […]
Parties file memorials in long-running NAFTA dispute over U.S. tobacco settlements; Canada intervenes with opinion on customary international law related to aboriginal rights
By Fernando Cabrera and Damon Vis-Dunbar 29 January 2009 The Canadian tobacco manufacturer Grand River Enterprises Six Nations and the United State have filed memorials in a long-running NAFTA Chapter 11 dispute. The arbitration proceedings, which began in April of 2004, have been delayed several times due to challenges to jurisdiction and to one of […]
By Damon Vis-Dunbar 15 January 2009 A Canadian pharmaceutical company delivered a notice of arbitration to the United States government in December 2008 under NAFTA’s Chapter 11 on investment. The US$8 million claim is rooted in the complicated legislation that governs how generic medications can be introduced to the U.S. market. Apotex Inc., which claims […]
Se Debaten Méritos de Arbitraje entre Inversor-Estado en Seminario de Arbitraje Internacional auspiciado por Fiscal General ecuatoriano
Por Fernando Cabrera Díaz 9 de Diciembre, 2008 El 1-2 de diciembre Noticias sobre Tratados de Inversión asistió a un seminario de dos días sobre arbitraje internacional en Quito, Ecuador, auspiciado por la Procuraduría General de Ecuador. El seminario se enfocó en el arbitraje internacional de inversión y su relación con la soberanía estatal. Se […]
Merits of investor-state arbitration debated at international arbitration seminar hosted by Ecuador’s Attorney General
By Fernando Cabrera Diaz 9 December 2008 On 1-2 December Investment Treaty News attended a two-day seminar on international arbitration in Quito, Ecuador, hosted by Ecuador’s Attorney General’s Office. The seminar focused on international investment arbitration and its relation to state sovereignty. Opinions from different sides of the debate were voiced, including from Ecuadorean government […]
By Damon Vis-Dunbar 13 November 2008 The Canadian government has been sent two letters from outdoor tour companies signaling intent to sue for alleged breaches of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Both outfitters complain that their businesses suffered when the Province of Quebec changed the rules for distributing fishing licenses. The two businesses led […]
By Damon Vis-Dunbar 23 October 2008 One of the world’s largest chemical manufacturers may sue the Canadian government over the ban of a lawn pesticide in the Province of Quebec. The Canadian government revealed on 21 October that, some two months earlier, it was served with a “Notice of Intent” by Dow AgroSciences LLC, a […]
By Damon Vis-Dunbar 24 September 2008 An American businessman has revived long-held suspicions that the North American Free Trade Agreement’s investment chapter may hinder Canada’s ability to regulate its public health-care system. In a letter sent to the Canadian government in July 2008—a so-called Notice of Intent—Melvin J. Howard accuses provincial authorities of putting up […]
By Damon Vis-Dunbar 12 September 2008 A bid by a Canadian lumber company, Tembec, to vacate a NAFTA Chapter 11 award was dismissed in August by a United States District Court. This is the second time Tembec has turned to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. In 2005, Tembec made an […]