Ecuador rips up toxic trade deals

Other | Wednesday 31st May 2017 | Annalisa

Ecuador hit back against big businesses last week by ripping up 16 trade deals with countries like the US and the U.K.

President Correa of Ecuador named the notorious ‘corporate court’ system as the key reason for ending the deals and has been extremely vocal about the damage caused to his country by international finance and trade. 

These ‘corporate courts’ allow foreign investors to sue governments for taking action they believe to be unfair even if it is something that benefits the country that they are operating in. Seems unjust, right? 

This same system was used by Chevron, then operating as Texaco, to avoid paying compensation to Ecuador for one of the world’s biggest environmental disasters. Whilst digging for oil in Ecuador, the company dumped billions of gallons of toxic water into the Amazon, poisoning the land which thousands of Amazon residents rely upon, to survive.

Chevron claimed the government’s attempt to seek compensation was unfair and succeeded in getting a ‘corporate court’ to overturn the ruling.

It's good to see positive action taken by countries like Ecuador who are sticking it to the corporate world!

With South Africa and Indonesia also in the process of terminating corporate court deals, could this be the last legs for the corporate court system that allows business to reign havoc on developing countries, their economies and environment with no accountability? We hope so!