Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release


Dylan Penner, Media Officer,(613) 233-4487, ext. 249,

Press Release

NAFTA 2.0 Curtails Chapter 11, But Doesn’t Meet Smell Test


In response to the new NAFTA deal revealed last night, now called the USMCA free trade agreement, the Council of Canadians says that while Chapter 11 (the investor state dispute settlement provision) has changed, the agreement is still far away from a deal that protects people and the environment.

“This is a major victory for the many groups and individuals who sounded the alarm on how these dangerous provisions affect our ability to protect the public interest and the environment. Our movement should be very proud. But as always, we should be vigilant about the rest of the agreement, which was hatched in order to erase rules, and help out big business,” says Maude Barlow, Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians.

Chapter 11, the investor state dispute mechanism that allows corporations to sue states, has been reportedly removed. Also, energy proportionality, the provision which guarantees an amount of Canadian exports to the U.S, is no longer there. The cultural exemption from NAFTA 1.0 also stays in the agreement.

But, farmers have been once again sacrificed in the deal, taking another 3.25 per cent hit in terms of products that can come into Canada. Combined with the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), we are moving towards a factory farm vision for Canadian agriculture. And while energy proportionality has been removed, it has been replaced with provisions which accelerate pipeline approvals.

“Once again, the farmers have taken the first hit,” says Barlow. “After CETA, the CPTPP, and now NAFTA, we are sure that we won’t be getting fresh, local, hormone-free milk. They are on the front lines of all of our trade agreements. But, it is not just them. NAFTA 2.0 may affect our ability to regulate pipelines, keep our drug prices down, and successfully protect our data and the financial system will be affected in the long term. We will be reviewing these provisions in the final deal.”

The Council of Canadians reminds people that this is not a done deal. The U.S. Congress, Mexican Senate, and Canadian Parliament still have to ratify the agreement. The uncertainty around the U.S. Congress will be an extremely hard hurdle.


Founded in 1985, the Council of Canadians is Canada’s leading social action organization, mobilizing a network of 60 chapters across the country.

Sanders Demands End to Medicare Premium Hike From Alzheimer's Drug

Biogen's original price for the controversial drug, he argues, "is the perfect example of why Medicare should be negotiating drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry."

Jessica Corbett ·

'Monumental Victory' as Biden Cancels Boundary Waters Mining Leases

Rep. Betty McCollum called the administration's decision "a rejection of the deeply flawed and politically motivated process under the Trump administration."

Brett Wilkins ·

Rights Groups Demand Hearings on the 'Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act'

"The longer Congress waits," warned one advocate, "the stronger and more dangerous this industry will become."

Kenny Stancil ·

Democrats Urge Biden to Abandon Dangerous Trump Policies on Nuclear Weapons

With the Nuclear Posture Review, say congressional lawmakers, the president can ensure "future generations can finally be free from the nuclear sword of Damocles that hangs over all our heads."

Andrea Germanos ·

'There Is No Military Solution': Jayapal, Lee Demand Diplomacy on Ukraine

"We call upon our colleagues to allow the administration to find a diplomatic way out of this crisis," said the progressive Democrats.

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo