Aug 022017

Background?    There is a very good German video that explains how “the monster payday” works.   Note the date:

2015-11-16 YouTube: German Public TV tells Europeans re ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlements).   Canada? U.S.? What are we seeing?

The recent report below related to Argentina is evidence of how widespread the problem is.   Canadians point out that WE are the most sued under the Free Trade “deals”. The Argentinians are in the same boat with us.

I sat in on an American Trade Justice webinar.  With the re-negotiation of NAFTA in progress, strategically, they are hitting on one theme which they think is all that their population can handle, the ISDS clauses.   Thankfully,  I think Canadians have been in a state of “growing awareness” for years now, so it’s possible to address the ISDS clauses, plus other egregious clauses.

The above German YouTube posting has some links to more information.   Or, enter  “ISDS” into the”search” box (upper right corner) to generate more postings.

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A monster payday in Argentina shows a flaw in Trump’s NAFTA renegotiation

David Dayen

A COMPANY THAT SPECIALIZES in bankrolling lawsuits has won a huge payday from the government of Argentina, in one of the biggest examples of financiers using the secret courts embedded in trade agreements as casinos.

Burford Capital, the world’s largest firm for “litigation finance,” will earn $140 million on a $13 million investment in an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) case against Argentina over the nationalization of Aerolineas Argentinas, the nation’s flagship airline. The case was brought under Argentina’s bilateral investment treaty with Spain; the investors in the airline were Spanish.

Under ISDS, part of over 3,000 trade agreements worldwide, corporations can sue governments for changes in law or regulation that violate trade agreements, and win awards equaling “expected future profits” they might have otherwise gained. The idea was to protect investors from seizure of assets, outside the court system of the offending government. But instead of helping companies resolve legitimate disputes over seized assets, ISDS has increasingly become a means for rich investors to speculate on lawsuits, winning huge awards and forcing local taxpayers to foot the bill.

Donald Trump did not seek to eliminate ISDS in his negotiating objectivesfor reimagining NAFTA. He will only try to add some transparency mechanisms, such as making hearings and final rulings publicly available. The Burford Capital award reveals why that is wholly inadequate.    . . .

Please read the remainder of the article at: 



David Dayen

david.dayen AT


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