21 Nov 2017

The tentacles of Global Corporations will become the slave masters whip if the TPP goes through in its present form.

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Based on an article by Pat Ranald, Research Associate, University of Sydney:

The TPP11 retains all provisions on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) from the previous TPP

Despite claimed “safeguards”, ISDS enables all other foreign investors to bypass national courts and sue governments for compensation in international tribunals if they can argue that changes in domestic laws or policies harm their investment.

The cases are tried by tribunals composed of investment lawyers who can continue to represent clients. There is no independent judiciary, and no precedents or appeals to ensure consistency of decisions.

Many of the 817 known cases involve public interest laws.
Swiss Pharmaceutical company Novartis is suing the Colombian government over the plans to reduce prices on a patented treatment for leukaemia.
The US firm Bilcon won its claim against the Canadian government for US$101 million after a provincial government refused to approve a quarry in an ecologically sensitive area.
The French company Veolia is claiming compensation from the Egyptian government for a rise in the minimum wage.

Even if a government wins a case, defending it can take years and cost millions. The US tobacco firm Philip Morris shifted some assets to Hong Kong and used ISDS in an Australia-Hong Kong investment agreement to claim billions in compensation for Australia’s plain packaging law.
It took more than four years and reportedly cost A$50 million in legal fees for the tribunal to decide that Philip Morris was not a Hong Kong company.

ISDS gives additional legal rights to global corporations to sue governments in unfair international tribunals, undermining democratic regulation in the public interest. Trade agreements should not increase corporate power at the expense of communities.

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