Latin American Countries Ally to Defend Themselves From Transnational Corporations

Martin Khor | | June 24, 2013

Threatened by billion dollar lawsuits arising from investment treaties, several governments have formed a new grouping to deal with transnational companies.

Leaders of several Latin American countries have set up a new coalition to coordinate actions to face the growing number of international legal suits being taken against governments by transnational companies. A ministerial meeting of 12 countries held in Guayaquil, Ecuador, decided on several joint actions to counter the threat posed by these law suits, which have claimed millions or even billions of dollars from governments.

“No more should small countries face law suits from big companies by themselves,” said Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino, at a media conference after the meeting which he chaired. “We have now decided to deal with the challenges posed by these transnational companies in a coordinated way.”

Seven of the countries, mostly represented by their Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Trade or Finance, adopted a declaration with an agreement to form a conference of states affected by transnational interests. They are Ecuador, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, St. Vincent and Grenadine and Venezuela. Representatives of another five countries (Argentina, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico) also attended the meeting and will convey the results to their governments...