Skip to comments.EU-US trade deal to include ‘corporate bill of rights’ (sticky situation)
Posted on 09/26/2013 9:42:40 PM PDT by Olog-hai
Controversial rights for multinational corporations to sue states, likely to be included in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), are causing a political headache for EU and US negotiators, but may also set a precedent for future trade agreements, notably with China.
The TTIP currently being negotiated includes so-called investor-state dispute clauses empowering EU and US-based corporations to lodge private legal cases directly against governments.
The European Commissions proposal for investor-state dispute settlement under the TTIP would enable US companies investing in Europe to bypass European courts and directly challenge governments at international tribunals, whenever they find that laws in the area of public health, environmental or social protection infringe their right to do business. EU companies investing abroad would have the same rights in the United States.
Politicians might think they are acting in the interests of their investors overseas, but they are in fact exposing themselves to predatory legal action from corporations, according to NGO Corporate Europe Observatory's Pia Eberhard, who wrote a report on the issue, A Transatlantic Corporate Bill of Rights, in June.
(Excerpt) Read more at euractiv.com ...
Those great debts really knock me out
They kick the Wests behind
Angelas blubbery cellulite is hanging out
That EU troika is always on my, my, my, mind
Take me to the Carpathian mountains way down South
Let me foreclose your daddys farm
All the way the bankers hands are reaching out
Come and grease your comrades palm
Im back in the EUSSR
You dont know how lucky you are... boy
Back in the EU
Back in the EU
Back in the EUSSR
Just imagine a European company suing the federal government in some “international tribunal”, though. Challenging our domestic laws through that means, too.
In the second sentence of the article there is the term investor-state.
We call them free trade agreements because they eliminate tariffs or harmonize tariffs, but they are really Investor-State trade agreements. And the legal precedents established are called Investor-State law. And since the inception of NAFTA, there have been numerous cases decided by the NAFTA arbitration panel. And NAFTA requires that the Judiciary in US, Canada, and Mexico honor/enforce the arbitration panel's decisions. You may recall some of those cases back then: MetalClad, Methenex, Canadian Hardwoods, etc.
The premise is that the Investors can negotiate a fair deal with the state on issues such a taxes, but after the fact, the state can arbitrarily impose regulations(labor, environment, etc) that are really taxes masquerading as regulation. The investor could then sue the state, but he would probably lose. So instead, the investor takes the state into arbitration. The arbitration panel makes a ruling, and then the state judiciary has to enforce the arbitration panels decision.
Way back then, Bush, Mulroney, and Salinas signed NAFTA but Congress had to ratify it. The dems(and some republicans) knew there had to be investor protections(NAFTA Chapter 11) but thought that the protections for labor and environment were weak. But Congress couldn't modify NAFTA, only give it an up or down vote, which they didn't want to do. So instead, Congress set up and arrangement by which the new prez(Clinton) would negotiate a side or parallel agreement that would contain the protections for labor environment, which he did, then Congress ratified both NAFTA and the parallel agreement.
But the parallel agreement turned out to be toothless and many dems blamed Clinton saying he was in a cahoots with the GOP and the transnationals. In 2001 this conspiracy theory among dems came out in which the GOP was using the trade agreements to "Roll Back the 20th Century", or "Roll Back the New Deal". And then during the 2008 dem primary, both Hillary and Obama pledged to renegotiate NAFTA, which Obama didn't do. The lefties(and some righties) think Clinton and Obama are corporate suck-ups.
Any and all trade agreements have this of type language, and may be delayed. Bush's agreements with Panama, Columbia, and Korea were delayed and CAFTA was delayed also. And there are numerous trade agreements among between nations in which the USA is not a party.
All trade agreements have disputes settled by arbitration and these arbitration rulings accumulate into a body of Investor-State Law housed within the WTO.
One thing for sure, all this enhances the power of the transnationals and weakens the individual nations
You can research this further by googling Investor State Trade Agreement or Investor State Law
...the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)... would enable US companies investing in Europe to bypass European courts and directly challenge governments at international tribunals, whenever they find that laws in the area of public health, environmental or social protection infringe their right to do business. EU companies investing abroad would have the same rights in the United States.