But let's back up a second. Why would the U.S. Government pay $15 billion taxpayer dollars to TransCanada? Well, in case you missed it, back in January, TransCanada announced its intent to use rules in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to sue the U.S. Government over the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline. (President Obama rejected the pipeline project back in November 2015.)
This was a hard-fought and hard-won victory for families, communities, and the environment in the U.S. and around the world.
But because of a dangerous provision in NAFTA called investor-state dispute settlement, big corporations -- like TransCanada -- are able to sue governments for the profit they expected to make from rejected and cancelled projects, like KXL.
If that seems reckless, you're right. But it's not just NAFTA that includes these provisions. Bigger, badder trade deals -- like the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership -- also include the investor-state dispute settlement system. The difference is that the TPP would extend the right to sue our government in a private tribunal to thousands of new foreign corporations. This is a detriment to both governments and the people that fight to protect our workers, our environment, our families, and our communities.
So we decided to let TransCanada know that we're rejecting their claim for $15 billion, and we're not stopping there. We're calling for a rejection of the TPP and other toxic trade deals, and for a whole new model of trade that is responsible and fair.
It's time we stop putting profits before people.
The next step is pushing Congress to vote no on the toxic and dangerous Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Together, we can build a safer, more responsible model of trade.