This is from Canadian International Trade Minister Ed Fast, reacting to criticisms of the Canada - China investment treaty by opposition leader Tom Mulcair:
“If he had actually read this treaty – which was tabled in the House of Commons almost six months ago – he would know that it will give Canadian investors in China the same protection against discrimination that foreign investors have long had under Canada’s current laws.”
It's true that the treaty will protect against discrimination. But in addition, as I'm sure everyone reading this knows, obligations in investment treaties go beyond simple non-discrimination.
What interests me about this is that there seems to be a tendency to play up non-discrimination obligations, and ignore others. Is it people's instinct that non-discrimination is the most defensible and generally supported of trade and investment obligations, and thus they highlight that one? What's the relationship between non-discrimination obligations and the other obligations that are broader and a bit more vague?
I'll say more on this issue in the next post.