Lori Wallach on HuffPo: "Obama trade policy perils: Korea FTA talks resume tomorrow"
November 29, 2010
Check out Lori Wallach's latest piece on The Huffington Post:
Obama trade policy perils: Korea FTA talks resume tomorrow
"That the Obama administration did not agree at the G-20 summit to push the same NAFTA-style Korea free trade agreement that former President George W. Bush signed in 2007 is understandable. It’s projected to increase the U.S. trade deficit, is wildly unpopular in both countries, and replicates the most threatening NAFTA provisions that promote offshoring and financial deregulation. And, its chapter on labor rights bans references to the International Labor Organization Conventions that establish, well, the internationally recognized labor rights. The real question is why the Obama administration would have been willing to sign off on the Bush agreement in Seoul if only the Koreans had agreed to some more market access for U.S. cars and cows. And why they might go for a deal based on those narrow fixes when talks resume tomorrow near Washington..."
I did a little analysis of your NAFTA investor-state data, which served as a basis for Lori's blog post on KORUS FTA Chapter 11. It shows that those scary "foreign tribunals" you're always warning us about have not ordered the US government to pay even one dime to compensate any Canadian or Mexican corporation in the 16 years of NAFTA's existence, even though they have filed 20 claims against it. Meanwhile, the tribunals have ordered the Mexican and Canadian governments to compensate U.S. firms to the tune of $326.9 million.
There's no charge for this.
Posted by: John B | November 29, 2010 at 05:38 PM
Glad you found the database useful.
The reality is that the U.S. would have lost the U.S. v. Loewen case under NAFTA on the merits, before being spared on technical grounds. At issue in that case was a very non-trade related question: the conduct of U.S. judges and juries in a purely U.S. domestic dispute over funeral homes in Mississippi.
Moreover, the U.S. has to spend millions in legal fees to defend against the investor-state cases.
Finally, the text of U.S. FTAs and the investor-state rulings under them (and dicta and interpretations under these) are among the most cited documents in investor-state arbitration globally. So getting the precedent here in the U.S. right matters a lot for the future of the relationship between multinational corporations and judicial systems around the world.
Posted by: Todd Tucker | December 01, 2010 at 03:07 PM