Keystone XL case heads to secret NAFTA tribunal

Part of every “free trade” pact these days is a secret Star Chamber tribunla, where corporations and banks can seek damages form nations, but not vice versa.

Those secret tribunals, where no record of the proceedings is kept and there public learns of rulings in a single, terse announcement, are the most dangerous aspect of NAFTA, the TPP, and TTIP, a violation of the legal principles essential to democratic governance.

And now the developers of the Keystone XL pipeline, killed by the Obama administration, are taking Uncle Sam to court in the secret NAFTA venue.

From Reuters:

TransCanada Corp is formally requesting arbitration over U.S. President Barack Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, seeking $15 billion in damages, the company said in legal papers dated Friday.

TransCanada submitted a notice for an arbitration claim in January and had then tried to negotiate with the U.S. government to “reach an amicable settlement,” the company said in files posted on the pipeline’s website.

“Unfortunately, the parties were unable to settle the dispute.”

TransCanada said it then filed its formal arbitration request under North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) provisions, seeking to recover what it says are costs and damages.

Just what happens behind those closed doors we’ll never no.

And that ain’t right, whatever [non-appealable] decision is reached.


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