A foreign investment promotion and protection agreement (FIPA)
is a bilateral treaty that promotes investment between two
countries by creating reciprocal rights and protections, in
particular against discriminatory treatment, treatment that is not
fair and equitable, and other harmful government measures including
expropriations and regulatory undertakings.
Recently, Canada has been very actively negotiating FIPAs, which
are also referred to as bilateral investment treaties (BITs). This
is in a bid to catch up on Canada`s other trading partners who have
in place many more BITs than does Canada.
During the same time period in the 1990s in which Canada
implemented 22 such treaties, the number negotiated worldwide
surged from 398 to 1,857. The current number of BITs implemented
worldwide is estimated at close to 2,700, which is in excess of the
number of double taxation treaties. Canada currently has 25 FIPAs
in force with Argentina, Armenia, Barbados, Costa Rica, Croatia,
Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Hungary, Jordan, Latvia, Lebanon,
Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation,
Slovak Republic, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine,
Uruguay, and Venezuela. Canada has concluded but not yet ratified
FIPAs with another 15 countries: Albania, Bahrain, Bénin,
Cameroon, China, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Kuwait,
Madagascar, Mali, Moldova, Nigeria, Senegal, Serbia, and
More recently, the Canadian government has focused on increasing
FIPAs with African countries. As of 2011, Canadian companies have
over $31 billion in African mining assets. As part of its plan to
promote and protect Canadian investments abroad, Canada concluded,
signed or brought into force FIPAs with 10 countries in
2013—a record for any single year. Seven of these were with
African countries with the most recent being Cameroon on March 3,
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While that agreement mandated export measures on Canadian softwood lumber exports destined for the United States, it also protected those lumber exports from the potential imposition of onerous import measures by the U.S.
On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its first tariff classification decision since Canada signed the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System in 1998.
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