By Lori Wallach and Todd Tucker
Congress rejected Social Security privatization in 2005 and should reject it again in 2007 — whether it’s for Americans, Peruvians or Canadians. The promise of a secure retirement shouldn’t stop at America’s borders.”
This was the reaction of William McNary, a leading Social Security activist, after finding out that some Democrats are supporting a Bush NAFTA expansion for Peru that would give Citibank, a major Democratic donor, the right to sue the country if it reverses its failed Social Security privatization.
Fair trade activists already knew that an important part of the push to cover the planet in trade deals is to give foreign investors new “rights,” including the right to sue governments for compensation when public interest regulations wind up hurting their bottom line.
But the latest Bush trade proposal goes even further. Buried in the Peru pact’s hundreds of pages are provisions that could empower foreign investors involved in Peru’s privatized Social Security system to demand compensation from the Peruvian government (in U.N. and World Bank tribunals) if the privatization were reversed.