Photo: Friends of the Earth Europe

This week, the Dutch Senate approved CETA, the trade agreement between the European Union and Canada, with a very small majority (40 for; 35 against). This means that the Dutch parliament has ratified the trade agreement.

The arbitration court ICS is the most controversial part of CETA. ICS or Investment Court System is a form of ISDS (Investor to State Dispute Settlement), which gives foreign investors the possibility to sue governments for measures that threaten their expected profits.

“CETA gives investors the ability to file claims when a government passes legislation that could affect expected profits”, warns researcher Bart-Jaap Verbeek. “Companies and investors can try to weaken legislation or pass some of the costs of climate measures on to taxpayers. CETA thus poses a real danger to the energy transition.”

Read here why CETA is an outdated treaty (in Dutch).

SOMO is a member of HandelAnders, a coalition of food producers, trade unions, environmental activists and knowledge organisations that together seek alternatives to the current trade policy.