What’s Wallonia’s Beef?

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CDHoweInst.org – Media Release – CETA’s investment dispute provisions have become a lightning rod for critics of the trade pact within Europe, but in its current form, the CETA text represents a significant improvement from past trade and investment deals.
October 24, 2016.

CETA’s investment dispute provisions have become a lightning rod for critics of the trade pact within Europe, but in its current form, the CETA text represents a significant improvement from past trade and investment deals, according to a new report from the C.D. Howe Institute. In “Investor-state Dispute Settlement in CETA: Is it the Gold Standard?,” Tony VanDuzer concludes that CETA provisions address many of the critical objections emanating from within European Union (EU) states.

“CETA is broader in scope and deeper in ambition than any previous trade and investment treaty, including NAFTA,” states VanDuzer, noting that if ratified, CETA would provide Canadian exporters access to a more than 500-million-person market. “However, the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions have been a lightning rod for critics of the trade deal, particularly within EU states.” Indeed, following the release of the 2014 text, some European voices called for the ISDS provisions to be removed altogether.

For VanDuzer, many concerns regarding the operation of ISDS have been addressed in CETA. “As it stands, CETA incorporates many of the best aspects of current Canadian treaty practice as well as some further innovations with a view to addressing concerns about ISDS. These take a significant step away from the ad hoc arbitration model found in NAFTA and other investment agreements, such as the TPP.”

According to VanDuzer, some best practices incorporated by CETA include:

– Ensuring that states have early information about investor claims.
– Imposing a three-year time deadline for investor claims.
– The requirement for an investor making an ISDS claim to terminate other proceedings and waive the right to pursue them.
– The procedure for consolidating multiple investor claims arising out of the same events and raising common questions of law or fact.
– Transparency requirements and rules for participation of interested parties other than the parties to the dispute.
– CETA parties’ ability to adopt binding interpretations of CETA investment-chapter provisions.

The most important innovation in CETA is the creation of a standing tribunal and appellate body. Members are appointed by the CETA parties, not the parties to a dispute, and must meet high standards for independence and the avoidance of conflicts of interest. Appellate review should improve the quality and consistency of ISDS awards.

CETA enhances the state’s ability to manage investor-state disputes and addresses some of the legitimacy-based concerns that have been raised. “From a respondent state’s point of view, while not perfect, CETA’s approach has the best claim to legitimacy in any treaty to date,” concludes VanDuzer.

For the full report, click here:  < https://www.cdhowe.org/public-policy-research/investor-state-dispute-settlement-ceta-it-gold-standard >.

< https://www.cdhowe.org/media-release/what’s-wallonia’s-beef >

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