Vive Le Canada

Multiple Countries Rejecting Investor State Dispute Settlement
Date: Sunday, April 22 2012
Topic:


By Janet M Eaton, Phd.  April 12th, 2012



There appears to be a growing awareness that NAFTA-style foreign

investor privileges and their private "investor-state dispute system [ISD]

,which have been among the most controversial aspects of past US  trade

deals,  should be rejected in trade and investment agreements....



Hopefully this momentum to reject Investor State will eventually be

powerful enough to influence the Harper government  to reject ISD

because in the words of a statement of concern initiatied by Canadian

academics with expertise relating to investment law, arbitration, and

regulation: "We have a shared concern for the harm done to the public

welfare by the international investment regime, as currently structured,

especially its hampering of the ability of governments to act for their

people in response to the concerns of human development and environmental

sustainability." [7]

 



Multiple Countries Rejecting Investor State Dispute [isd] Settlement By

Janet M Eaton, Phd.  April 12th, 2012



There appears to be a growing awareness that NAFTA-style foreign

investor privileges and their private "investor-state dispute system [ISD]

,which have been among the most controversial aspects of past US  trade

deals,  should be rejected in trade and investment agreements.



In particular this provision has emerged as a point of major

contention in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, with Julia

Gillard's Australian government  announcing last April that they would

reject Investor - state arbitration in all trade agreements.  It seems

that her government , was not only concerned about the loss of public

policy sovereignty  but  was also taking seriously the advice of the

Australian Productivity Commission which



concluded there were few clear benefits, and several worrying risks,

associated with such provisions." [1]



Following on the heels of Australia, Korea appeared poised to go the same

route with polls showing  the opposition, which rejected  ISD, favoured to

win the upcoming election; however, in the election held yesterday,  the

governing  Conservatives managed to hold on to a slender majority so the

jury is still out as regards South Korea.  [2] [3]  However one clue might

be found in a recent April 6th claim by India that it plans to abolish the

investor-state dispute system and renegotiate FTAs with South Korea,

Singapore, and other countries. According to the English language

newspaper, Indian Express,  New Delhi´s decision to abandon the ISD system

is based on its first-hand experience with the potential threat foreign

companies pose to public policy on the grounds of investment agreement

violations.  [4]



Other countries that have concerns with, are opposed to, or have

rejected,  ISD,  include the South African government which is  re-

examining the ISD system after a policy of affirmative action for

blacks, aimed at reducing economic disparities between white and

black people, was targeted in 2007 by a multinational corporation;

the Brazilian parliament which has  refused to ratify a number of

investment agreements on the grounds that they infringe on

legislative sovereignty and  Ecuador and Bolivia that have pulled out of

the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes convention.

[4]



Meanwhile  in the US and Canada, both President Obama and Prime

Minister Harper are pushing Investor State Dispute settlement in

their  frenzy to initiate  free trade deals in every corner of the

world. In the case of Obama - this is in spite of his Presidential

campaign promises to review NAFTA Ch 11 [investor state] and other

harmful aspects of Free Trade Agreements in general and in spite of

over 100 Congress persons and many progressive NGOs  support of  the TRADE

[Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment ] Act tabled by

Representative Michael Michaud  [D- Maine] and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)

[5]



In the case of Mr Harper - he ignores calls, from civil society,

NGOs, Institutes, activists and three opposition parties, to

renegotiate NAFTA Ch 11 while belittling  anyone who tries to make

the case. . [6]



Hopefully this momentum to reject Investor State will eventually be

powerful enough to influence the Harper government  to reject ISD

because in the words of a statement of concern initiatied by Canadian

academics with expertise relating to investment law, arbitration, and

regulation: "We have a shared concern for the harm done to the public

welfare by the international investment regime, as currently structured,

especially its hampering of the ability of governments to act for their

people in response to the concerns of human development and environmental

sustainability." [7]



REFRENCES:



[1]  Good on Gillard - - Aussies reject investor-state in free trade

agreements.  by Janet M Eaton

http://www.sierraclub.ca/en/trade-and-environment/publications/good-

gillard-aussies-reject-investor-state-free-trade-agreements



[2]  Obama Ignores Korean Request for 'Investor State' Changes to

Trade Deal; US Implementation Rushed to Beat Korean Election

http://www.sierraclub.ca/en/main-page/obama-ignores-korean-request-

investor-state-changes-trade-deal-us-implementation-rushed-be

 Submitted by Janet Eaton on Mon, 2012-03-19 20:33



[3] South Korea conservatives win parliamentary poll, boost for Park

 http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/12/us-korea-politics-election-

idUSBRE83A19R20120412



[4]  India plans to abolish ISD clause in FTAs

http://www.bilaterals.org/spip.php?article21295

posted 6-April-2012



[5] TRADE Act.  http://www.citizen.org/trade/tradeact/



[6] NAFTA: Growing Resistance & Calls for Renegotiation & Oversight

Educational Power Point by Janet M Eaton

http://www.stopthehogs.com/pdf/nafta-resistance.pdf



[7] PUBLIC STATEMENT ON THE INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT REGIME 

http://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/public_statement



http://www.sierraclub.ca/en/trade-environment



 







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