Secret meetings, redacted documents, lack of transparency, these are just some of the reasons that we should be very concerned about TTIP, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a new trade deal that is currently being negotiated between the EU and the US. Of huge concern is the insistence that corporations must be allowed to sue national governments, if their business interests are impinged. Here are some examples of legal action taken by corporations against national governments.
Lone Pine V Canada
The oil and mining company are suing the Canadian government for CA$250 million, after Quebec decided to ban fracking in the St. Lawrence River.
Occidental V Ecuador
When the Ecuadorean government cancelled an oil concession to punish the company for failure to pay for environmental damage, Occidental sued and were awarded $1.77 billion by the ICDS, International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes - a World Bank affiliated institute in Washington that facilitates arbitration between governments and investors.
Vattenfall V Germany
The Swedish energy giant is currently suing for €3.7 billion over the closure of two nuclear plants, following Germany's decision to phase out nuclear power.
Achmea V Slovakia
The Dutch insurance company was awarded €22 million over a new law which requires health insurers to operate on a non-profit basis.
Veolia V Egypt
The facilities company is currently suing the government for having the audacity of raising the minimum wage.
Phillip Morris V Uruguay
The tobacco firm is suing for compensation over strict new health warnings on cigarette packets.
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