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More Than 100 Legal Scholars Warn About TPP Dangers

Friday, March 13, 2015 By Dave Johnson, Campaign for America's Future | Report
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Over 100 law professors sent an open letter to Congress and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) saying they need to "protect the rule of law and the nation's sovereignty" in trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

While TPP is still secret, leaks and precedent indicate that it will contain provisions allowing giant, multinational corporations to bypass our country's legal system. These provisions will allow these multinational corporations to sue governments, including ours, in "corporate courts" if they decide to pass laws and regulations that restrain the profits of these giant corporations, such as efforts to help citizens quit smoking.

The provisions in question are called investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) and let corporations take cases to a tribunal made up of corporate attorneys instead of civil courts. These attorneys will then decide if countries have passed laws or imposed regulations, including health, environmental, labor, consumer and other protections that cause these companies to lose profits.

The law professors' letter asks Congress and the USTR to ensure that language is not included in proposed trade agreements like the TPP.

The letter concludes:

ISDS threatens domestic sovereignty by empowering foreign corporations to bypass domestic court systems and privately enforce terms of a trade agreement. It weakens the rule of law by removing the procedural protections of the justice system and using an unaccountable, unreviewable system of adjudication.

The scholars' statement is available online here and the letter itself is available at here.

The letter was organized and released by the Alliance for Justice.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson (Redwood City, California) is a fellow at Campaign for America's Future, writing about US manufacturing, trade, and economic and industrial policy. He is also a senior fellow with Renew California.

Dave has more than 20 years of technology industry experience, including positions as CEO and VP of marketing. His earlier career included technical positions, including video game design at Atari and Imagic. And he was a pioneer in design and development of productivity and educational applications of personal computers. More recently he helped cofound a company developing desktop systems to validate carbon trading in the US.


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More Than 100 Legal Scholars Warn About TPP Dangers

Friday, March 13, 2015 By Dave Johnson, Campaign for America's Future | Report
  • font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size
  • Print

Over 100 law professors sent an open letter to Congress and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) saying they need to "protect the rule of law and the nation's sovereignty" in trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

While TPP is still secret, leaks and precedent indicate that it will contain provisions allowing giant, multinational corporations to bypass our country's legal system. These provisions will allow these multinational corporations to sue governments, including ours, in "corporate courts" if they decide to pass laws and regulations that restrain the profits of these giant corporations, such as efforts to help citizens quit smoking.

The provisions in question are called investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) and let corporations take cases to a tribunal made up of corporate attorneys instead of civil courts. These attorneys will then decide if countries have passed laws or imposed regulations, including health, environmental, labor, consumer and other protections that cause these companies to lose profits.

The law professors' letter asks Congress and the USTR to ensure that language is not included in proposed trade agreements like the TPP.

The letter concludes:

ISDS threatens domestic sovereignty by empowering foreign corporations to bypass domestic court systems and privately enforce terms of a trade agreement. It weakens the rule of law by removing the procedural protections of the justice system and using an unaccountable, unreviewable system of adjudication.

The scholars' statement is available online here and the letter itself is available at here.

The letter was organized and released by the Alliance for Justice.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson (Redwood City, California) is a fellow at Campaign for America's Future, writing about US manufacturing, trade, and economic and industrial policy. He is also a senior fellow with Renew California.

Dave has more than 20 years of technology industry experience, including positions as CEO and VP of marketing. His earlier career included technical positions, including video game design at Atari and Imagic. And he was a pioneer in design and development of productivity and educational applications of personal computers. More recently he helped cofound a company developing desktop systems to validate carbon trading in the US.


Hide Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus