Chapter 11 is the North American Free Trade Agreements Investment Chapter that gives foreign corporations the power to sue governments for passing laws or making other decisions that affect present or future business activities and profits.
Disputes are settled by a secretive tribunal process.
Under the GATT, a country could initiate a dispute only if a subsidy caused injury to another countrys industry. If successful in making its case, the importing country was permitted to impose counter-veiling duties to offset the injury. Chapter 11 marks a huge shift in the character of dispute-resolution because of the power given to corporations to challenge state policy.
Chapter 11 also limits states ability to control foreign investment in their national economies. Many fear that Chapter 11 makes it virtually impossible to return services to the public sector once they have slipped into corporate hands.