Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Press Release

Canada-EU Deal Likely to Result in ‘Deluge’ of Big Business Cases Brought Against European Governments

Over 300,000 across Germany demonstrate against trade agreement

A new trade deal about to be signed between Canada and the EU will open the floodgates to Canadian and US corporations suing European governments. Those are the findings of a new report released today by European campaign groups including Global Justice Now and Corporate Europe Observatory. The report is released after a weekend of demonstrations across Europe which involved well over 300,000 protestors opposed to the deal.
 
The Comprehensive Economic & Trade Agreement – known as CETA – is due to be signed off by European governments in October, and the European parliament over the Autumn. But the massive campaign against CETA’s better known sister agreement TTIP, a deal between the US and EU, has now thrown the CETA deal into question too. On Saturday, over 300,000 citizens protested against CETA in Germany, where warfare has broken out in the country’s centre-left SPD party over the deal. 
 
CETA contains many similar provisions to TTIP, including a special legal system allowing Canadian corporations to sue European governments for introducing laws deemed damaging to their profits. Today’s report, published by campaign groups including Corporate Europe Observatory and Transnational Institute, says this system “could dangerously thwart government efforts to protect citizens and the environment”.
 
The report finds that:

  • Under a comparable treaty, Canada has been sued 37 times, mostly for trying to introducing better environmental regulation. Billions of dollars are currently sought from Canada. In many ways, CETA gives corporations even clearer powers to sue.
  • Financial regulation is particularly under threat under CETA which hands big banks more power to challenge financial regulation they don’t like
  • European states also risk being sued by thousands of the biggest US multinationals through their subsidiaries in Canada.

Nick Dearden of Global Justice Now said:
 
“CETA would open up our government to a deluge of court cases by North American multinational corporations and investors. It presents a threat to our ability to protect the environment, to protect the public and to limit the power of big banks. It’s thoroughly undemocratic and must be stopped.
 
“Particularly incredible is that the British government – which says it wants to reclaim powers from the EU – is actually trying to implement this deal before a vote, or even debate, in Westminster has taken place. They want to lock us into this deal so it still applies after Brexit, and no government would be able to get out of CETA without giving a 20 year notice period. How is that ‘taking back control’?”

###

Global Justice Now is a democratic social justice organisation working as part of a global movement to challenge the powerful and create a more just and equal world. We mobilise people in the UK for change, and act in solidarity with those fighting injustice, particularly in the global south.

UN Chief Denounces Shelling of Ukraine Nuclear Plant as 'Suicidal'

To avert a public health calamity, Ukrainian officials are calling for the Zaporizhzhia site to be demilitarized and run by a team of peacekeepers.

Kenny Stancil ·


Big Pharma Bemoans 'Tragic Loss' as Democrats Take Modest Action to Curb Drug Prices

Patient advocates, meanwhile, applauded passage of the Inflation Reduction Act as a "historic victory for consumers and a historic defeat for Big Pharma's monopoly control."

Jake Johnson ·


Sanders Says Senate Bill 'Nowhere Near' Enough as Dems, GOP Tank His Amendments

The Vermont senator nevertheless supported final passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, calling it "a step forward" on climate and drug prices.

Jake Johnson ·


Senate Barely Approves Scaled Back Legislation on Climate, Taxes, Healthcare

But thanks to Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), there was a huge, last-minute win for the private equity and hedge fund industries

Common Dreams staff ·


'What the Hell is Wrong With Them': GOP Senators Kill $35 Cap on Insulin

'Republicans told millions of Americans who use insulin to go to hell.'

Common Dreams staff ·

Common Dreams Logo