Legal Business

Better late than never


The Honourable Marc Lalonde on Canada’s accession to the ICSID Convention and why it took so long to ratify

Since the end of World War II, Canada has played a role in international affairs well above its relative economic or military power, whether at the United Nations or in other international institutions such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) or the G5 (then G7, G10 and G20). It has also pursued the advancement of its economic interests through the signing of some 30 bilateral investment protection treaties (BITs or Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (FIPAs) as they are called in Canada) as well as the North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994 (NAFTA). And although it may take a few more years before it is ratified, a preliminary agreement has also been reached recently with the European Union on the text of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), well ahead of the US, which is just starting such negotiations. It is also actively participating in the current Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Negotiations.