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Trade, Legal Experts Across the Political Spectrum Agree ISDS Must Be Eliminated From NAFTA. So Why Is the Corporate Lobby Enraged About the U.S. Proposal to Do So?

Prof. Joseph Stiglitz, Cato Institute Scholar Dan Ikenson, Associate Deputy Attorney General Under Reagan Bruce Fein Explain One of the Most Contentious Aspects of the Ongoing NAFTA Renegotiations

WHAT: Trade experts and constitutional scholars from the left and the right will explain why opposition to Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is the rare issue of agreement across the political spectrum. They also will outline what underlies the fierce corporate opposition to the administration’s proposal to roll back ISDS in North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations. The event is sponsored by U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.).

The panelists hold divergent views on most issues, including NAFTA, but reflect an improbable breadth of consensus against NAFTA’s ISDS terms. Demands to eliminate ISDS have come from the National Conference of State Legislatures, state attorneys general, small business organizations, unions, hundreds of the nation’s leading legal and economics professors, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cato Institute scholars, progressive public interest organizations, and Democratic and Republican members of Congress. Panelists will address the Trump administration NAFTA proposals on investment and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s threat to oppose a revised NAFTA if it does not include ISDS. Including ISDS would make it less risky and less expensive for corporations to outsource jobs and would empower them to attack domestic policies by going before tribunals of three corporate lawyers who can order unlimited compensation to be paid to investors by taxpayers.

WHEN: 11 a.m. EST Tuesday, Dec. 5

WHERE: 2456 Rayburn House Office Building

WHO: Speakers include:
• Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize-winning economist and professor at Columbia University
• Dan Ikenson, director of Cato Institute’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies
• Bruce Fein, with Fein & DelValle, PLLC, constitutional law expert and associate deputy attorney general under President Ronald Reagan
• Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch
• Moderator: Matthew Porterfield, deputy director and adjunct professor, Harrison Institute for Public Law at Georgetown University Law Center