Part A – The Similarity Between The FATCA IGAs and Extradition Treaties
CBC has produced an excellent ten part podcast called “Sanctioned”. It is very well done and explores the Meng Wanzhou arrest and extradition process to the United States. As you know, at the request of the United States, Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou for extradition to the United States. The result of arresting Meng Wanzhou was that China arrested two Canadian citizens and passed a death sentence on a third. In the spirit of retaliation China has imported fewer Canadian products – resulting in economic hardship to Canada and individual Canadians. Furthermore, Meng Wanzhou’s lawyers have argued that Canada violated Meng Wanzhou’s Charter rights. The suggestion is that Canada has made the appeasement of the United States a priority over protecting Canada’s values and the rights of Canada citizens.
Shades of the FATCA IGAs. By entering into a FATCA IGA, Canada has harmed Canadian citizens for the purpose of doing the bidding of the United States. The US Canada extradition treaty has placed Canada in a similar situation. Should Canada appease the United States at the cost of damaging its own citizens? The Meng Wanzhou case has an additional dimension. Should Canada – in a global world – damage its economic relationship with China in order to appease the United States?
The FATCA IGAs and the Extradition Treaty are very similar in three key ways.
First: In both cases the United States is using an “agreement” to require Canada to send something to the United States. In the case of the Extradition Treaty, the United States is demanding a person. In the case of FATCA, the United States is demanding private information about a person. Should the FATCA IGAs be viewed as (in substance) as being an Extradition treaty for information? (In the case of information, Jenny’s FATCA UK lawsuit has demonstrated that US FATCA demands override key provisions of the GDPR.)
Second: Notice that in both the FATCA IGAs and the Extradition treaty, the United States is imposing US law on Canadian soil. (In the case of FATCA there is no reciprocity. In the case of the Extradition treaty there may or may not be reciprocity.) Specifically, the FATCA IGAs export Chapter 4 of the Internal Revenue Code into Canadian Law (Part XVIII of the Income Tax Act of Canada). In the case of the Extradition Treaty the United States is asking Canada to accept the claim that the violation of a US sanction against Iran meets the standard of “dual criminality”.
The United States is using extradition treaties to export US criminal law to other countries:
When the U.S. France extradition treaty was sent to the U.S. Senate for approval, President Clinton noted that:
The United States recognizes the extraterritorial application of many of its criminal statutes and frequently makes requests for fugitives whose criminal activity occurred in foreign countries with the intent, actual or implied, of affecting the United States.
Third: In both cases the agreements with the United States override rights afforded to individual Canadians under Canadian law. On the most basic level, the FATCA overrides statutory non-discrimination provisions found in provincial human rights codes. Parts 7 and 8 of the CBC Podcast series describe how Meng Wanzhou’s lawyers make the case that her Charter rights were violated at the outset.
Clearly, one must ask the following questions:
Should countries violate the rights of its own citizens in order to appease the United States?
Should the United States be permitted, through the use of international “agreements” to lower the level of individual rights to the level afforded to American citizens generally?
Should Canada, (as do many other countries) reserve the right to NOT extradite its own citizens?
Should the FATCA IGAs be amended so that the accounts of Canadian citizens resident in Canada are not subject to the FATCA IGAs? (Notably the Canada/US tax treaty includes a provision that provides that Canada will not help the US collect US tax debts on Canadian citizens.)
The broader context of the US extradition demand of Meng Wanzhou
It’s shocking that the United States can (1) unilaterally pull out of the Nuclear agreement with Iran then (2) impose sanctions against Iran in accordance with US law and (3) use Extradition Treaties to require treaty partner countries to seize individuals who happen to be physically present in their territory. It’s obvious that Meng Wanzhou has violated no law of Canada.
Extradition Treaties: A View From The Homeland
Conclusion: The United States is using international “agreements” for the purpose of “planting Old Glory” in other countries.
Part B – On To The CBC Podcast Series “Sanctioned”
— U.S. Citizen Abroad (@USCitizenAbroad) May 25, 2020
At the very least I suggest that you listen to Episode 8 which may be found here.