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Corporate Lawsuits Could Devastate Poor Countries Grappling with COVID-19-

Date: May 29, 2020

The country was in freefall. Formerly middle class families were hawking their valuables on the street. After dark, the most desperate would search through garbage cans for food.

That was Argentina in 2002. In that dark hour, as Argentine officials scrambled to lessen the pain of a deep economic crisis on average citizens, the last thing they needed was a barrage of corporate lawsuits. But that’s what they got.

CMS Gas, for example, sued Argentina over a policy to freeze utility rates in local currency to protect consumers from runaway inflation. An international tribunal ordered the beleaguered government to pay the U.S. corporation $133 million. Other corporations settled for hundreds of millions more.

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