[A2k] FFII condemns investor-to-state arbitration in trade talks with US

Ante Wessels ante at ffii.org
Fri Jun 14 01:21:34 PDT 2013


TTIP / TAFTA / Internet / Innovation ]
=====================================================================
FFII condemns investor-to-state arbitration in trade talks with
US
=====================================================================

Brussels, 14 June 2013 -- The Foundation for a Free Information
Infrastructure (FFII) condemns the inclusion of
investor-to-state dispute settlement in the mandate for trade
talks with the United States. Investor-to-state dispute
settlement gives multinationals the possibility to sue states
for special tribunals if changes in law may lead to lower
profits than expected. This threatens democracy, the public
interest and copyright and patent law reform, according to the
FFII. 

Today the EU Council is expected to grant the Commission a
mandate to open trade negotiations with the United States. 

During the discussions on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade
Agreement (ACTA), civil society groups warned that ACTA would
make it impossible to reform dysfunctional aspects of copyright
and patent law. A trade agreement with the US containing
investor-to-state dispute settlement would have the same effect.
One of ACTA's most harmful aspects may return in an EU - US
trade agreement.

Multinationals will be able to use billion euro claims to stop
law changes in order to protect old or even harmful business
models. After Germany decided to shut down older nuclear
reactors Swedish energy group Vattenfall claimed 3.7 billion
euro from Germany using investor-to-state dispute settlement.
U.S. based pharma corporation Eli Lilly uses investor-to-state
dispute settlement to challenge Canada's patent law. 

Multinationals will not have to use the well-functioning
European court system to sue states. The special tribunals for
multinationals will be placed above the high courts of the EU
and the US. This is a fundamental design flaw, according to the
FFII. 

FFII analyst Ante Wessels: "Special interest tribunals above the
European Court of Justice will distort the trias politica, the
very foundation of our democracy. Naive politicians created a
euro with design flaws, will equally naive European politicians
hand over our democracies to multinationals? This is the most
important question in the trade negotiations."


=====================================================================
Background information
=====================================================================

The latest leaked draft mandate includes investor-to-state
dispute settlement:

blogs.ft.com/brusselsblog/2013/06/france-films-foreign-trade-the-leaked-mandate/
http://blogs.r.ftdata.co.uk/brusselsblog/files/2013/06/TTIP-Rev-2-Mandate.pdf

See also Inside U.S. Trade - 06/07/2013: "In the June 5 meeting,
other member states expressed reservations about the May 29
draft mandate, but it does not appear that they will oppose the
entire mandate based on their positions, according to these
sources. For example, Germany at the meeting this week said it
is still not convinced that investment protection needs to be
part of the trade agreement and that an investor-state dispute
settlement mechanism is not needed in an agreement between two
developed trading partners. However, sources said Germany seems
willing to move past this reservation."


=====================================================================
Links
=====================================================================

Friends of the Earth Europe, the European Consumers'
Organisation (BEUC) and Eurogroup for Animals, 2013, Warning
sounded ahead of EU-US trade negotiations
http://www.foeeurope.org/warning-ahead-EU-US-trade-negotiations-110613

IP out of TAFTA - Civil Society Declaration signed by over 45
organisations
http://www.citizen.org/IP-out-of-TAFTA

Kelsey and Wallach, 2012, “Investor-State” Disputes in Trade
Pacts Threaten Fundamental Principles of National Judicial
Systems,
http://tpplegal.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/isds-domestic-legal-process-background-brief.pdf

Democracy Center, 2013, Unfair, Unsustainable, and Under the
Radar – How Corporations use Global Investment Rules to
Undermine A Sustainable Future,
http://democracyctr.org/new-report-unfair-unsustainable-and-under-the-radar/

Henning Grosse Ruse - Khan, 2012, Investor–State Arbitration to
Challenge Host State Compliance with International IP Treaties?
http://worldtradelaw.typepad.com/ielpblog/2012/12/investor-state-arbitration-to-challenge-host-state-compliance-with-international-ip-treaties.html

Corporate Europe Observatory, 2012, Profiting from injustice -
How law firms, arbitrators and financiers are fuelling an
investment arbitration boom,
http://corporateeurope.org/publications/profiting-from-injustice

FFII blog:
http://acta.ffii.org/

Permanent link to this press release:
http://press.ffii.org/Press%20releases/FFII%20condemns%20investor-to-state%20arbitration%20in%20trade%20talks%20with%20US#preview

=====================================================================
Contact
=====================================================================

Ante Wessels 
ante (at) ffii.org 
+31 6 100 99 063 

FFII Office Berlin 
Malmöer Str. 6 
D-10439 Berlin 
Fon: +49-30-41722597 
Fax Service: +49-721-509663769
Email: office (at) ffii.org
http://www.ffii.org/ 
 

=====================================================================
About FFII
=====================================================================

The FFII is a not-for-profit association active in twenty
European countries, dedicated to the development of information
goods for the public benefit, based on copyright, free
competition, open standards. More than 1000 members, 3,500
companies and 100,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act
as their voice in public policy questions concerning exclusion
rights (intellectual property) in data processing.






More information about the A2k mailing list