“free trade”

FROM CANADA: IMPORTANT!!! This is some serious economic news which should be of value to your loyal readers. It deals with “free trade” and explains 2 lawsuits against the CANADIAN GOVERNMENT itself.

Free Trade implies what are called citizen rights. Citizen rights are extended by a country to a global corporation through a “free trade agreement.” Citizen rights give a global corporation, say based in the U.S., the same rights as one of its citizens, say Canada.

Lawrence Herman, a Canadian lawyer involved in the following case, explained in the Financial Post (July 28, 1998) the Canadian Government had announced it was banning Methylcyclopentadienyl Manganese Tricarbonyl (MMT), a gasoline additive which had been banned in the United States.

MMT is manufactured by the Ethyl Corporation of Richmond Virginia. In 1997, The Canadian government, citing U.S. action and medical literature relating to cancer, wanted the substance banned (MMT helps stops engine knock in your car) in Canada.

Ethyl sued the Canadian Government for U.S. $251 million, citing lost profits and argued the Free Trade Agreement extended Ethyl the right to make a profit in Canada.

On the Ethyl website, ( I cite the following press release, dated July 20, 1998 - “Today, the Government of Canada announced that it was lifting its 1997 ban on the importation and interprovincial trade of….MMT.” The Preamble Centre of Canada ( notes the Canadian Government, when it lifted the ban, paid Ethyl U.S. $13 million dollars.

The second case also deals with a U.S corporation. Ian Jack writes in the Financial Post, a major Canadian newspaper, (November 25, 1999), the Canadian government is currently being sued by S.D. Myers Inc. of Ohio, in a case slated for trail February 14th.

The case only came to light through a fluke and newly released documents, previously hidden from the Canadian public.

Why the suit? S.D. Myers claims the Canadian government prevented it from making a profit when Environment Canada developed a policy to have a Canadian corporation dispose of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB’s), a deadly contaminant.

The Canadian government had given the contract to a Canadian owned corporation. S.D. Myers claims the Canadian owned corporation would have charged Cdn. $95 million more. According to S.D. Myers of the U.S., they had the lower bid and should have been awarded the Canadian disposal contract.

In both cases, a U.S. company with no offices in Canada has sued the Canadian Government, essentially arguing they had citizen rights in Canada because of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Not worried about the World Trade Organization??? Wait till those agreements are set.

private News report from Canada

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