A few months ago we wrote about the extraordinary — and worrying — case of Eli Lilly suing Canada after the latter had refused to grant a pharma patent. Eli Lilly’s contention was that by failing to grant its patent (even if it didn’t meet the criteria for a patent in Canada), Canada had « expropriated » Eli Lilly’s property — and that it should be paid $100 million as « compensation ». […]
This shows that the initial action was no one-off, and that if Eli Lilly’s action succeeds, we can expect it and many other companies to avail themselves of this method of extracting money from the public purse, as provided for under NAFTA’s investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clauses.
What’s troubling is that similar ISDS schemes are being negotiated for both TPP and TAFTA/TTIP. That will give corporations even more opportunities to sue nations for supposed « expropriation », and to challenge perfectly legitimate local laws that dare to stand in the way of bigger profits.