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The East India Company: The original corporate raiders
For a century, the East India Company conquered, subjugated and plundered vast tracts of south Asia. The lessons of its brutal reign have never been more relevant
Within a few years, 250 company clerks backed by the military force of 20,000 locally recruited Indian soldiers had become the effective rulers of Bengal. An international corporation was transforming itself into an aggressive colonial power.
Using its rapidly growing security force – its army had grown to 260,000 men by 1803 – it swiftly subdued and seized an entire subcontinent. Astonishingly, this took less than half a century.
It was not the British government that seized India at the end of the 18th century, but a dangerously unregulated private company headquartered in one small office, five windows wide, in London, and managed in India by an unstable sociopath
By 1803, when the EIC captured the Mughal capital of Delhi, it had trained up a private security force of around 260,000- twice the size of the British army – and marshalled more firepower than any nation state in Asia.
originally posted by: MystikMushroom
I read a comment that made me think...
So, according to this corporations could sue countries for raising the minimum wage because it would hurt future profits?!
Wait a minute... doesn't this strip away the sovereignty of any country that becomes a part of the TPP? Aren't the participating countries basically giving up their sovereign rights to the corporations and their "court"?
...foreign firms can “sue” states and obtain taxpayer compensation for “expected future profits”. These investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunals are designed to overrule the national court systems. ISDS tribunals introduce a mechanism by which multinational corporations can force governments to pay compensation if the tribunal states that a country’s laws or policies affect the company’s claimed future profits.
originally posted by: SkepticOverlord
We did an NLBS episode on the Trans-Pacific Partnership just a few weeks ago. This new information, added to what we learned, yields only one clear analysis: It's a corporate takeover of the concept of a New World Order.
The ability to sue for a loss of 'expected future profits' is extremely troubling, I can imagine this clause is there not only to handle disagreements but to be abused by the largest corporations to absorb losses from markets that don't perform as expected (I really hope I'm reading too much into it).
... The corporates have no connection with reality if they really think that a court of any kind can make a sovereign nation pay them for "future earnings".
Metalclad vs. Mexico, Toxic Waste and NAFTA
...the NAFTA Tribunal for the case of Metalclad Corp vs. Mexico ruled in favor of Metalclad, ordering the Mexican government to pay US$16.7 million in compensation. It is the first ruling in an investor-to-state lawsuit under NAFTA.
In October 1996, Metalclad Corporation, a U.S. waste-disposal company, accused the Mexican government of violating NAFTA's Chapter 11 when the state of San Luis Potos refused it permission to reopen a waste disposal facility.
The state governor ordered the site closed down after a geological audit showed the facility would contaminate the local water supply. The governor then declared the site part of a 600,000-acre ecological zone. Metalclad claimed that this constituted an act of expropriation and sought US$90 million in compensation.
Other Chapter 11 Cases
In 1997 the U.S. chemicals giant, Ethyl Corp, used NAFTA's Chapter 11 to sue the Canadian government for a ban imposed on MMT, a gasoline additive produced by Ethyl which is toxic and hazardous to public health. Ethyl claimed that the ban "expropriated" its assets in Canada and that "legislative debate itself constituted an expropriation of its assets because public criticism of MMT damaged the company's reputation."
Ethyl sued the Canadian government for US$250 million. A year later, in June 1998, the Canadian government withdrew environmental legislation banning MMT, and paid Ethyl Corp US$13 million to settle the case.
Three more suits are outstanding against the Canadian government, three against the Mexican government and two against the U.S. government.
The case against the United States by a Canadian corporation, Mexthanex, also gained attention with a September 5 article in The National Post announcing that Methanex will seek US$970 million in compensation for environmental laws in California which are "tantamount to expropriation."
All of these cases are based on the "rights" of investors guaranteed in NAFTA's Chapter 11, where a broad definition of "expropriation" is combined with the right of investors to directly sue governments for compensation (under "investor-to-state" dispute resolution).
...The claims against Ottawa for damages under the Chapter 11 investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism in NAFTA total billions of dollars, according to the summary of cases by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), an Ottawa think tank that has often criticized federal policies.
...“NAFTA’s investor-state mechanism and similar investment rules in other international treaties have been rightly criticized for giving multinational corporations too much power while constraining the fundamental role of democratic governments,”
Currently, Canada faces nine active ISDS claims challenging government measures that allegedly interfere with the expected profitability of foreign investments, the report says.
These include challenges to a ban on fracking by the Quebec government; a decision by a Canadian federal court to invalidate a pharmaceutical patent on the basis that it was not sufficiently innovative or useful; provisions to promote the rapid adoption of renewable energies; a moratorium on offshore wind projects in Lake Ontario and the decision to block a controversial mega-quarry in Nova Scotia.
The report notes Canada has already lost or settled six claims and paid out damages totaling more than $170 million.
...Legal challenges by investors against national governments filed under NAFTA Chapter 11 over two decades:
Against Canada: 35
Against Mexico: 22
Against U.S.: 20
Canada and Mexico have so far been the biggest losers in this scheme. The U.S. government has faced several Chapter 11 lawsuits but has not lost a case. But all three countries have had to pay huge sums in legal costs, or in fees paid to arbitration courts. In all cases, the losers are ordinary citizens, because the money to placate corporations and pay these expenses comes from the public purse. And forever more, policymakers will have to think twice about passing any law to protect the public from corporate excesses.