Washington, D.C. - Ambassador Ron Kirk releases the following statement on the United States victory in the NAFTA arbitration case filed by a Canadian mining company, Glamis Gold Ltd. (now Goldcorp of Vancouver, British Columbia), challenging certain actions by the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the State of California relating to the Canadian investor's proposed mining operations.
"I welcome the tribunal's decision. As this ruling demonstrates, neither the NAFTA nor other U.S. investment agreements prevent the federal government or our states from regulating in the public interest, including to protect the environment, public health, and safety."
"At the same time, the NAFTA and our other investment agreements provide important protections for American companies that invest abroad against discriminatory or otherwise wrongful foreign government actions."
The claimant, Glamis Gold Ltd. (Glamis), submitted its $50 million claim to arbitration in 2003, alleging that certain DOI actions and California measures relating to its proposed open-pit gold mine on federal lands in California made development of that project economically infeasible, and deprived it of the value of its investment in that project, in violation of NAFTA. On June 8, 2009, the tribunal unanimously rejected Glamis's claim and ordered Glamis to pay two-thirds of the arbitration costs. The Office of the Legal Adviser of the Department of State represented the United States in the case.
The full text of the award will be available on the State Department's website at http://www.state.gov/s/l/c10986.htm once the parties make any required redactions of confidential information. Party submissions, amicus curiae submissions, hearing transcripts, and other arbitration documents in the Glamis case are also available on this website, subject to redactions of confidential information.