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How Corporate Polluters Use StateState-Investor Provisions of Free Trade Agreements and Bilateral Investment Treaties To Undermine Environmental Protection
- Anti-speciesism and animal rights Anti- Biodiversity and Ecosystem Protection - Sustainability and Localism - Rejection of Neoliberalism and Globalism - Environmental Justice - Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples
What are Free Trade Agreements?
-Tariffs and Quotas - Investment Rules -Intellectual Property - Procurement Rules
Free Trade Agreements:
Core Environmental Justice, Ecological, and Animal Rights Concerns
- Procurement rules undermine green, local, & humane purchasing - State ± Investor provisions undermine environmental protection - State-state challenges to non-tariff barriers to trade vs. import bans on unsustainable & inhumane products - Agricultural liberalization expands industrial and animal-based agriculture - Transportation± roads, fuel, roadkill, resources for vehicles - Live animal exports (dolphins, fighting cocks) - lack of indigenous consultation - Outsourcing and offshoring to escape protective regulations
NAFTA EXPANDS CORPORATE RIGHTS
- Corporations allowed to sue governments directly for profit loss under Investor Protections (Chapter 11). -Agriculture Included!
NAFTA Chapter 11 Grants New Protections to Corporate Investors
Metalclad sues Mexico
- In the mid-1990s, the US firm, Metalclad, attempted to build an incredibly environmentally hazardous landfill in San Luis Patosi, Mexico but was prevented by repeated political opposition.
- Metalclad sued Mexico in 1997 under Chapter 11 of NAFTA, winning the case and over $16 million dollars in compensation for lost profits.
Ethyl Corp Neurotoxin Protected
- In 1997, Chapter 11 of NAFTA allowed Ethyl Corp to sue Canada for over $200 million in lost profits when Canada banned their fuel additive because it contained manganese, a known neurotoxin. - Canada subsequently dropped the environmental law, and paid Ethyl a large settlement.
Canadians Cattlemen Sue for Right to Spread Mad Cow Disease
A group of Canadian cattlemen and feedlot owners sought compensation for losses incurred when the U.S. halted imports of live Canadian cattle after the discovery of a case of BSE (mad cow disease) in Canada in May 2003. January 2008: Claim dismissed on procedural grounds. Tribunal ruled that the cattlemen did not have standing to bring the claim because they did not have an investment in the U.S., nor did they intend to invest in the U.S.
Methanex sues the US
- California phased out use of MBTE in fuel after finding it was contaminating water. - Methanex, maker of MTBE, sued under Chapter 11 of NAFTA, tying up the State of California for over 7 years before finally losing the case in 2005
The Glamis Threat
- Glamis Gold, a Canadian mining firm, sued the United States in 2003 for $50 million under Chapter 11 of NAFTA, because their open pit mine was refused. - Several people have been killed after protesting Glamis's mine in Guatemala, and if the country attempts to stop the corporation's corruption, it could face a similar lawsuit.
Tobacco Company Sues to Avoid Tobacco Settlement Liability Grand River Enterprises vs. US
A Canadian company is seeking damages over the 1998 U.S. Tobacco Settlement, which requires tobacco companies to contribute to state escrow funds to help defray medical costs of smokers. Jurisdictional ruling dismissed some of the claims as time-barred, but permitted other claims relating to cigarettes sold on Indian reservations to proceed to a hearing on the merits.
Transformer Company Challenges Canadian PCB Ban, Wins $5 million Thanks to NAFTA,
, Canada will soon be mine!!!
S.D. Meyers, a service company focused on transformers, challenged Canadian ban of PCB exports that complied with multilateral environmental treaty on toxictoxicwaste trade. * Expropriation claim dismissed. * Claims of discrimination upheld and qualified as a violation of the ³minimum standard of treatment´ foreign investors must be provided under NAFTA. * Foreign firm¶s ³market share´ in another country could be considered a NAFTANAFTAprotected investment. * Canada petitioned to have the NAFTA tribunal decision overturned in a Canadian Federal Court, but the court dismissed the case.
PCBs = POISON
Probable Carcinogen, linked to melanomas, liver cancer, gall bladder cancer, biliary tract cancer, gastrointestinal tract cancer, and brain cancer, and may be linked to breast cancer. Acute toxic effects - irritation of the nose and lungs, skin irritations such as severe acne (chloracne) and rashes, and eye problems. Developmental effects - Children born with significant neurological and motor control problems, including lowered IQ and poor short-term memory, decreased birth weight and head size, and psychomotor and behavioral impairment.
Disrupted hormone function shortened menstrual cycles, reduced sperm counts, altered sex organs, premature puberty, changed sex ratios of children. Immune system and thyroid effects ± PCBs upset thyroid balance, may affect growth, behavioral & psychomotor development. PCBs bind to receptors that control immune system function, disturbing the amounts of some immune system elements like lymphocytes and T cells. PCB levels tied to an increased prevalence of ear infections and chickenpox and with lowered immune system function, and thus greater susceptibility to disease
³Our common philosophy is governed by Biblical principles and values.´
Pesticide Manufacturer Sues Canada
U.S. chemical company Crompton/Chemtura, a producer of the pesticide lindane, a hazardous persistent organic pollutant, is suing for $100 million, challenging a voluntary agreement between manufacturers and the Canadian government to restrict production. Claims involve discrimination, performance requirements, expropriation and a violation of the ³minimum standard of treatment´ rule.
Lindane's Effects on Human Health
Exposure to large amounts of lindane can harm the nervous system, producing a range of symptoms from headache and dizziness to seizures, convulsions and more rarely death. Prenatal exposure to -HCH, an isomer of lindane and production byproduct, has been associated with altered thyroid hormone levels and could affect brain development. Lindane is known to be particularly hazardous to children. The persistent chemical shows up more often than any other pesticide in the Arctic environment, contaminating traditional foods of indigenous communities in the region.
Lindane is a persistent organic pollutant: it is relatively long-lived in the environment, it is transported long distances by natural processes like global distillation, and it can bioaccumulate in food chains, though it is rapidly eliminated when exposure is discontinued.
The production of lindane generates large amounts of waste hexachlorocyclohexane isomers, and it is estimated that "every ton of lindane manufactured produces about 9 tons of toxic waste."
When lindane is used in agriculture, an estimated 1230% of it volatilizes into the atmosphere, where it is subject to long-range transport and can be deposited by rainfall. Lindane in soil can leach to surface and even ground water and can bioaccumulate in the food chain. However, biotransformation and elimination are relatively rapid when exposure is discontinued.  Most exposure of the general population to lindane has resulted from agricultural uses and the intake of foods, such as produce, meats and milk, produced from treated agricultural commodities
In 2009, governments around the world added the lindane to the list of chemicals targeted for global ban under the Stockholm Convention (POPs treaty). All agricultural uses of lindane will be phased out under the treaty, and any production of the neurotoxic pesticide is banned. Pharmaceutical uses for control of lice and scabies will (using existing stocks) are scheduled for full phase out by 2014.
So Crompton/ Chemtura dropped the suit, right...?
³At the end of the day, Chemtura seeks to hold the [Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency] responsible for the fact that it can no longer profit from the sale of a toxic chemical that has been internationally banned based on demonstrated health and environmental concerns´ -- Canada¶s counter memorial.
³When you read through a lot of these cases, you find something missing ± namely common sense.´ ± Jim Mays, Sierra Club Responsible Trade Program
Dow Sues Over Ban on Toxic 2, 4-D
Dow AgroSciences LLC, a subsidiary of the U.S. Dow Chemical Company is suing Canada for $2 million under Chapter 11 for losses it alleged were caused by a Quebec provincial ban on the sale and certain uses of lawn pesticides containing the active ingredient 2,4-D. Other Canadian provinces are considering similar bans.
- Bhopal disaster - Birth defects from Agent Orange in Vietnam -
Toxic 2,4-D 2,
Symptoms of 2,4-D poisoning in exposed people include irritation and inflammation of eyes and skin, hives, nausea, vomiting, throat irritation, headache, dizziness, coughing, and difficulty breathing. New studies indicate that 2,4-D reduces fertility in several ways. 2,4-D exposure is associated with low sperm counts. 2,4-D (and the entire family of phenoxy herbicides) is classified as possibly carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Studies of exposed farmers support this classification. According to the most recent data collected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, some 2,4-D is contaminated with 2,3,7,8-TCDD, a potent dioxin. Monitoring by the U.S. Geological Survey showed that 2,4-D is frequently found in rivers and streams. It is also often measured in air samples. 2,4-D causes genetic damage in plants in amounts too small to cause visible damage to the plants.D causes genetic damage in plants in amounts too small to cause visible damage to the plants. Monitoring by the U.S. Geological Survey showed that 2,4-D is frequently found in rivers and streams. It is also often measured in air samples.
2,42,4-D use on lawns is linked with an increased risk of cancer in dogs.
CANADA'S BOREAL FOREST
25 per cent of the world's remaining original forests Canada's largest ecosystem, covering 58% of the country 30% is covered by wetlands, an estimated 1.5 million lakes and some of the country's largest river systems Boreal ecosystems contain the largest expanse of freshwater in the world; more than 80 per cent of the world's liquid freshwater is found in the Boreal More than 186 billion tonnes of carbon are stored in the Canadian Boreal's trees, soils, water and peat ±equivalent to 913 years' worth of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada The global Boreal is the largest terrestrial carbon ³bank account´ on the planet
BIRDS OF THE BOREAL
More than 30 per cent of North America's bird population relies on the Boreal for breeding 325 bird species depend on Boreal shelter during their lives Labrador's George River caribou herd is the largest in the world The Boreal is home to large populations of wolves, bears, moose and a number of smaller animals More than 13 million ducks and waterfowl nest and breed in Canada's Boreal each year
THE TAR SANDS:
THE MOST ENVIRONMENTALLY DESTRUCTIVE PROJECT ON THE PLANET
Tar sands mining is licensed to use twice the amount of fresh water that the entire city of Calgary uses in a year. -At least 90% of the fresh water used in the oil sands ends up in ends up in tailing ponds so toxic that propane cannons are used to keep ducks from landing. - Processing the oil sands uses enough natural gas in a day to heat 3 million homes. - The toxic tailing ponds are considered one of the largest human-made structures in the world. -The ponds span 50 square kilometers and can be seen from space. -Producing a barrel of oil from the oil sands produces three times more greenhouse gas emissions than a barrel of conventional oil.
according to NAFTA's energy proportionality clause, Canada is forced to provide 2 units of export for every unit produced for domestic consumption. If the US passes legislation against dirty oil, this could be challenged under NAFTA.
- In 2005, Congress passed the Dominican RepublicCentral America Free Trade Agreement. - Includes the Dominican Republic on top of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica - Forced to eliminate tariffs and sanitary barriers on U.S. agricultural imports, allowing agribusiness to flood markets with cheap pork, beef, chicken, eggs, turkey and dairy products.
Pacific Rim vs. El Salvador
Canadian mining company, Pacific Rim is already bringing a law suit against El Salvador, because El Salvador cancelled their permit to mine to conduct open pit cyanide leach gold mining near El Salvador's major river, the country's primary source of water..
GJAE and TradeJustice NY Metro activists give away mock cyanide tainted water in front of the Canadian Consulate in New York City on the first day of hearings on Pacific Rim's case against El Salvador at the World Bank's International Center for the Settlement of Trade Disputes, which arbitrates DR-CAFTA cases.
passed in 2008
Pelosi's Big Deal!
Top Contributers in 2006 1) Occidental Petroleum 2) Kleiner, Perkins, et al Total$ 17k 16.7k
3) Intl. Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 15k 4) Sheet Metal Workers Union 5) Time Warner 15k 13.2k
Occidental is notorious for poisoning the Peruvian Amazon rainforest through its oil extraction operations and refusing to fund an adequate cleanup.
May 10th Bipartisan Agreement on Trade: Icing on a Rotten Cake
MEAs built in, but without additional enforcement resources or mandate Special rules on mahogany, but not ipe or cumaru.
Caps eliminated on environmental suits, but state-investor provisions state-
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House Ways and Means Chair Charlie Rangel grabs corporate cash and colludes with an Occidental Petroleum corporate lobbyist to pass Cowboy Bush's US-Peru Free Trade Agreement in a TradeJustice NY Metro street theater performance in front of Representative Rangel's office.
No to FTAs with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea!
The TRADE Act
Introduced by Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in the Senate and Mike Michaud (D-ME) in The Trade Reform Accountability Development and Employment Act is supported by a majority of the Democrats in the House. The TRADE Act calls for a reassessment of NAFTA with special attention to environmental justice and human rights.
BUILD ALLIANCES AGAINST CORPORATE GLOBALIZATION
FAIR TRADE ADVOCATES AND MERCHANTS PAN-AFRICANIST AND CIVIL RIGHTS GROUPS UNIONS, LABOR RIGHTS & ANTI-SWEATSHOP GROUPS ANTI-HUNGER ACTIVISTS FAMILY FARMERS, CSAs, ORGANIC CO-OPS PROGRESSIVE KOREAN & LATINO GROUPS TENANTS RIGHTS & ANTI-GENTRIFICATION GROUPS
HUMAN RIGHTS and PEACE GROUPS SOCIALISTS AND COMMUNISTS PROGRESSIVE CHURCHES
LATIN AMERICAN SOLIDARITY GROUPS FREE SOFTWARE ADVOCATES STUDENT ACTIVISTS
IMMIGRANT RIGHTS GROUPS AIDS ACTIVISTS PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS INDIGENOUS RIGHTS GROUPS SAFE FOOD ADVOCATES
PEAK OIL AWARENESS & LOCAL SUSTAINABILITY ADVOCATES
AND ANIMAL & ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISTS ACTIVISTS!
What Can We Do?
* Build alliances ± labor, solidarity, environment, religion, AIDS, ethnic community groups, & more.. * Educate elected officials - lobby! * Write Op-eds and letters to the editor. Op* Organize community forums. * Table street fairs, community events, etc. * Get attention! -- protests, street theater, civil disobedience. * Keep on buzzing! Shadow! Phone! Fax! Email!
" If you think you are too small to be effective, you've never been in bed with a mosquito." --Author unknown
This is what democracy looks like!