Re: the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement.
Environmental protection, worker exploitation and lack of political freedom are serious problems. But there are upward trends on those issues in China, including wind power now firmly on the passing lane relative to coal and big hydro developments. Watch out, Canada.
Regarding advantages for Chinese corporations, precedence is king in neoliberal trade law. In the auto pact case, the World Trade Organization decided that international trading partners have unilateral rights when dealing with NAFTA signatories who are bound even beyond the agreement’s territory.
This is significant with regard to energy trade. NAFTA’s Chapter 6 gives clearcut priority to the interests of the destination countries over the export country. And the foreign investor or even just potential investor under Chapter 11 has the right for secret offshore panel rulings that by a penalty regime will overrule democratic legislation pertaining to energy security or environmental protections or civic standards, etc.
In fact, the China-Australia trade deal from 2005 as well a range of other Pacific Rim deals, involving China or not, have shown restraint with regard to powers to overrule and prevent democratic legislation.
If we don’t rid ourselves from the toxic Chapter 11, China is not to blame for our failure.
As Mulroney insisted in the Mulroney-Turner debate, it can be cancelled by informal notification with six months notice.
China is not the alleged aggressor, and does not drive the ruinous financialism. Let’s not overlook that Canada is now the cheerleader of a third Western aggression since 1953 aiming to steal the oil from the Iranian people.
And those Iranian oil resources are not balance-negative tarsands or shale fracking but valid conventional oil fields. The hypocritical demonizing of China by Western governments is motivated by geopolitics as well as the idea and reality of marching Western armies in Central Asia at the doorstep of China and Russia.
The story is too close to Peter Mansbridge and Stephen Harper style Disney tales for comfort. Well-meaning people should stay away from any such “Yellow Peril” invocation. The people in Asia remember the opium, Vietnam and many other colonial wars based on racist ideas too well.
Most chapter 11 rulings have come in recent years, including the giant Abitibi Bowater settlement of $ 130 million. If that nonsense was gone, Canada, like Venezuela and Mexico which cancelled NAFTA Chapter 6, would not sell oil below market price at dictated quotas in North America. And the phoney overseas deals would evaporate in a heartbeat.
Contrary to Al Pope’s and Andrew Nikiforuk’s assertions, the China trade deal can be cancelled before 31 years, because like in NAFTA’s Chapter 11, there is illegal stuff in there.
The scary de facto constitutional powers of Chapter 11 are gone. See the Ontario Superior Court’s CUPW/COC decision, when it is cancelled, and then the new Chinese and European trade deals are potentially illegal in any Canadian court.