Transcanada's Keystone XL Suit illustrates problem with TPP, Trade deals

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a secret trade agreement that will adversely affect the environment, worker’s rights, cost of medicines, internet freedoms, food safety, intellectual property rights and indigenous rights.

Friends of the Earth Australia (FoEA) has long warned that the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) chapter in the TPP agreement will potentially allow corporations to override our domestic laws and enable foreign corporations to sue our Government if we implement policy and legislation that may impact the ‘future profitability’ of a corporation.

FoEA campaigner Cam Walker said "Tobacco giant Phillip Morris has already launched a lawsuit against the Australian government in relation to the introduction of plain-packaging laws. Thankfully this was not successful. However, the TPP could open the door to similar lawsuits under the TPP ISDS clause".

"Earlier this week, Canadian pipeline company TransCanada gave notice that it intends to sue the U.S. government for over $15 billion under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Chapter 11 in response to the U.S. Administration’s decision to deny a permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Friends of the Earth US President Erich Pica made this response:
“TransCanada's Keystone XL permit was denied because construction of the pipeline was not in the United States national interest. Instead of honoring President Obama's reasoned decision, TransCanada wants to turn to secretive trade tribunals to force American taxpayers to compensate it for a project that should never have been proposed".

Friends of the Earth International Economic Justice Coordinator Sam Cossar-Gilbert said:

“We are again seeing a private company challenging a government's measures to protect public health and the environment. Friends of the Earth International opposes trade agreements like NAFTA, which allow corporations to shake down sovereign nations. Even NAFTA pales in comparison to newer deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership or the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Current trade rules empower corporations like TransCanada to challenge legitimate environmental protections in secret tribunals. The TPP and NAFTA trade agreements are a ticking time bomb for climate action and must be stopped. We need trade policy to stop undermining a sustainable future.”


Further information

Cam Walker 0419 338 047