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In Chapter 10, Risa Schwartz discusses the development of a trade and Indigenous peoples chapter, looking at the development of provisions that provide for set-asides and carve-outs in earlier FTAs to more modern provisions that recognize Indigenous rights. The chapter traces how advocacy of Indigenous peoples in international trade and investment laid the groundwork for both Canada and New Zealand to substantively address Indigenous rights. Although we have yet to see the establishment of a new chapter specifically for trade and Indigenous peoples, the USMCA, which is undergoing ratification, is the first agreement to include a General Exception that protects the rights of Indigenous peoples for all signatories. These new preferences and protections for Indigenous peoples in Canada, Mexico and the United States signal a new relationship between Indigenous peoples and international trade.
The creation of rues by governments in international trade and investment agreements is heavily swayed by the interests of “elite” economic actors such as “multinational corporations, industry associations, banks, hedge funds, and billionaires who can effectively influence the negotiating position of the most powerful governments.”1 These alliances often generate business practices and policy preferences which disadvantage Indigenous and other economically marginalized people.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is seen primarily as an international human rights instrument. However, the Declaration also encompasses cultural, social and economic rights. Taken in the context of international trade and investment, the UN Declaration is a valuable tool to support economic self-determination of Indigenous peoples. This volume explores the emergence of Indigenous peoples' participation in international trade and investment, as well as how it is shaping legal instruments in environment and trade, intellectual property and traditional knowledge. One theme that is explored is agency. From amicus interventions at the World Trade Organization to developing a future precedent for a 'Trade and Indigenous Peoples Chapter', Indigenous peoples are asserting their right to patriciate in decision-making. The authors, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous experts on trade and investment legal, provide needed ideas and recommendations for governments, academia and policy thinkers to achieve economic reconciliation.
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