Analysis of Specific TPP Investment Provisions and Their Threats to the Public Interest: Scope of ISDS Challenges Expanded, Promised Procedural Reforms Absent
By Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch
After nearly six years of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations under conditions of extreme secrecy, the Obama administration has only now released the text after it has been finalized and it is too late to make any needed changes. The final TPP investment chapter provides stark warnings about the dangers of “trade” negotiations occurring without press, public or policymaker oversight. The TPP would elevate individual foreign corporations to equal status with the 12 sovereign governments signing the deal text. It would empower foreign firms to privately enforce new foreign investor rights set forth in the pact by directly “suing” signatory governments in extrajudicial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunals over domestic policies that have withstood domestic court review and that apply equally to domestic and foreign firms. Before tribunals comprised of three private sector attorneys, foreign firms and the foreign subsidiaries of U.S. firms could demand U.S. taxpayer compensation for domestic financial, health, environmental, land use and other policies and government actions they claim undermine their new TPP privileges, such as the “right” to a regulatory framework that conforms to the “expectations” they had when they established their investment.