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Sold Down the Yangtze
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Sold Down the Yangtze

Canada's lopsided investment deal with China

By Gus Van Harten

$19.95 Paperback
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When legal experts finally saw the terms of the investment deal Canada had signed with China, they could hardly believe what their eyes. The deal was unprecedented -- Canada had never given so much away to a trading partner. But Ottawa did not allow a full public review, and ultimately ratified the deal in 2014 with no changes. And the government moved forward with other trade deals that contain many of the same flaws.

In this book, investment treaty expert Gus Van Harten offers the first-ever independent take on the details of the China-Canada investment deal and what it means for Canadians. Many of the deal's provisions are so extreme that readers may find it almost impossible to believe that the Canadian government agreed to them.

He explains how this agreement, and others like it, give multinational corporations and rich investors superpowers over governments. Secretive courts staffed by private lawyers, not judges, are able to order governments to pay these investors billions for policies and decisions they object to.

In simple language and easy to follow analysis, Van Harten offers a window into this secretive and obscure world. He documents the many ways Canadians lose out in the China-Canada deal, and how taxpayers may find themselves footing the bill for billions of dollars to Chinese investors who object to the actions of democratically-elected municipal, provincial and federal governments.

This deal -- in place for a minimum 15 years -- includes terms that may well turn up in other trade and investment agreements. Gus Van Harten offers practical steps for a better, more informed public debate on this vital topic.

CONTENTS

Acknowledgements

Preface

PART 1. THE TREATY AND THE PITCH

  1. A Prime Minister bends the knee
  2. Protecting Canadian investors, with a catch
  3. China can keep its discriminatory laws
  4. Canada plays the capital-importing loser
  5. The magical FIPA: attracting Chinese investment without any environmental impact!
  6. Market access for Chinese investors, but not for Canadian investors
  7. Faith in the Investment Canada Act
  8. Possible conflicts over Canadian jobs, health, and the environment
  9. The special status of Chinese investors
  10. Does Canada’s rule of law protect us?

PART 2. THE TROUBLE WITH ARBITRATOR POWER

  1. The explosion of foreign investor lawsuits
  2. For-profit arbitrators instead of judges
  3. No standing for Canadians
  4. Secret deals with China
  5. What do the treaties prohibit?
  6. The price tag for democracy
  7. Settlements of lawsuits, known and unknown
  8. An example of regulatory chill
  9. Outcomes of lawsuits
  10. What if it was a judicial process?
  11. The roller coaster continues

PART 3. THE COURTS AND THE CONSTITUTION

  1. The FIPA and the courts
  2. The legal challenge to the FIPA, part one
  3. The legal challenge to the FIPA, part two
  4. A reply to the charges of bias, part one
  5. A reply to the charges of bias, part two

PART 4. PROMOTERS OF THE FIPA, UP CLOSE

  1. The FIPA media blitz
  2. Andrew Coyne, part one
  3. John Ivison
  4. Andrew Coyne, part two
  5. Milos Barutciski and Matthew Kronby, part one
  6. Milos Barutciski and Matthew Kronby, part two
  7. The trade specialists
  8. Lawrence Herman
  9. A left-wing hobby horse?
  10. The government’s spin, part one
  11. The government’s spin, part two
  12. The government’s spin, part three
  13. Laura Dawson’s lawn darts
  14. The strange case of Stephen Gordon

PART 5. REASONS WHY, AND WHAT TO DO

  1. “The largest energy project in the entire world”
  2. Other explanations for a lopsided deal
  3. Thirty-one years and a hysterical scenario
  4. Channelling hope

Notes

Index

As an expert in investment deals and international law, GUS VAN HARTEN is uniquely qualified to explain what the Canada-China agreement means for Canada. He is currently a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, working previously as a tenured faculty member in the Department of Law at the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom. He has written over twenty academic studies on investment treaties, and has provided commentary to governments, international organizations, and media such as Bloomberg, the CBC, The Globe and Mail, the Guardian, and the Toronto Star. He lives in Burlington, Ontario.

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Publication Details:

Binding: Paperback, 344 pages
Publication Date: 13th August 2015
ISBN: 9781459410725
Format: 8in x 5.25in

Binding: Electronic book text, 344 pages
Publication Date: 13th August 2015
ISBN: 9781459410732
Format: EPUB

BIC Code: 1F, 1KBC, JP, JPQB, KCL, KCP
BISAC Code:  POL011020, POL024000, POL054000, POL056000
Imprint: Lorimer


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