Elizabeth Warren Spoke Out Against ISDS

US Senator Elizabeth Warren, advocate and luminary against banking and other monied interests’ influence in politics, spoke out against Investor-State Dispute Settlement of the TPP.

A hypothetical threat used in her speech of a foreign company forcing the US to repeal a toxic chemical ban using ISDS has already happened in Canada. Multiple times (see cases).

Some notable quotes:

  • “ISDS does not have independent judges. Instead it has highly paid corporate lawyers go back and forth between representing corporations one day and sitting in judgment of corporations the next.”
  • “Only international investors get to use these courts”
  • “ISDS was born to encourage foreign investments in countries with weak legal systems. … I don’t know if these justifications made sense back then but they sure don’t make sense now. Countries in TTP are hardly emerging economies with weak legal systems.”

Some ISDS lawsuits cited:

  • “French company sued Egypt when it raised minimum wage”
  • “A Swedish company sued Germany for trying to phase out nuclear power after the Fukushama disaster.” (see case)
  • “A Dutch company sued the Czeck Republic because it didn’t bail out a bank that the Dutch company partially owns”
  •  “Philip Morris” is trying to use ISDS to stop Uruguay from implementing anti-tobacco regulations aimed at cutting domestic smoking rates” (see case)

And closing remarks:

“Conservatives who believe in American sovereignty are outraged that ISDS shifts power from American courts as envisioned by our constitution to unaccountable international tribunals. Libertarians are offended that ISDS effectively offers a free taxpayers’ subsidy to countries with weaker legal systems. And progressives should oppose ISDS because it allows big multinationals to weaken labor and environmental rules.

Giving foreign corporations special rights to challenge our laws outside of our legal system is a bad deal.”

 

 

Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS)

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