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  • Eyes on Trade is a blog by the staff of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch (GTW) division. GTW aims to promote democracy by challenging corporate globalization, arguing that the current globalization model is neither a random inevitability nor "free trade." Eyes on Trade is a space for interested parties to share information about globalization and trade issues, and in particular for us to share our watchdogging insights with you! GTW director Lori Wallach's initial post explains it all.

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November 20, 2015

Initial Analysis of Key TPP Chapters

Here’s a helpful document that provides basic analysis of the contents and implications of many of the key TPP chapters. It was compiled by trade experts from labor and public interest organizations.

http://www.citizen.org/documents/analysis-tpp-text-november-2015.pdf

November 19, 2015

New Analysis of TPP Investment Chapter: U.S. Laws Face Expanded Threats from Foreign Investors

Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch has gone carefully through the 50-plus pages of the very troubling investment chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal –-as well as the lengthy country-specific annexes. We found that the final text is worse than we thought, with almost every remaining undecided issue left in the March 2015 leaked draft resolved by eliminating various reform proposals.

The TPP would VASTLY expand both the number of foreign investors that could use ISDS to attack U.S. policies (more than 9200 new firms, which would double the current U.S. ISDS exposure), and it would expand the kinds of ISDS cases that could be brought. Instead of reforms to scale back ISDS, for the first time the TPP would allow ISDS attacks against financial regulations investors say undermine their “reasonable expectations” and hurt their expected profits.  And TPP would be the first U.S. trade pact that would allow drug firms to demand cash compensation for claimed violations of World Trade Organization rules on creation, limitation or revocation of intellectual property rights.

Meanwhile, the reforms to the ISDS process that the administration has been advertising did not materialize. There are no new conflict interest rules. There is no appeals mechanism. There is no cap on tribunal costs or discretion about how much governments can be ordered to pay the investor. The ONLY improvement in the text from a public interest perspective is a partial carve out of tobacco control policies from ISDS attack, and that clause in part highlights how no other public health or environmental policies are similarly safeguarded. 

Please read the analysis here: http://www.citizen.org/documents/analysis-tpp-investment-chapter-november-2015.pdf

November 18, 2015

TPP Financial Stability Threats Unveiled: It’s Worse than We Thought

Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch has carefully analyzed the Financial Services Chapter of the recently released Trans-Pacific Partnership. One story that has not been told about the TPP is how this  first U.S. trade agreement negotiated since the global financial crisis  would impose the same model of financial deregulation that is widely understood to have fueled the crisis.

For the first time in any U.S. trade agreement, the TPP empowers some of the world’s largest financial firms to challenge U.S. financial regulatory policies in extrajudicial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunals using the broadest “minimum standard of treatment” claim.

And, the TPP would be the first U.S. pact to empower some of the world’s largest financial firms to launch ISDS claims against U.S. financial policies. Now none of the world’s 30 largest banks may bypass domestic courts, go before extrajudicial investor-state tribunals of three private lawyers, and demand taxpayer compensation for U.S. financial policies. Among the top banks in TPP countries that could newly do so: Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho, ANZ, Commonwealth Australia, West Pac, National Australia Bank, Bank of Tokyo, Sumutomo, Royal Bank of Canada.

Despite the pivotal role that new financial products, such as toxic derivatives, played in the financial crisis, the TPP would require all TPP countries to allow new financial products and services to enter their economies if permitted in any other TPP countries.

Meanwhile, the provision USTR calls a “prudential filter” would not shut down investor attacks on financial policies. Rather, it would provide for 120 day consultation after which the case could proceed unless the government of the suing investor agreed to shut down the case.

This analysis provides interested parties with a guided walk-through of the chapter and related annexes.

Please read out analysis here: http://www.citizen.org/documents/analysis-tpp-financial-services-chapter-november-2015.pdf

 

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