Search OCA:
Get Local!

Find Local News, Events & Green Businesses on OCA's State Pages:

OCA News Sections

Organic Consumers Association

Why Germany Is Backing Away from a Trade Deal That Lets Corporations Sue the Government

For related articles and information, please visit OCA's Politics and Democracy page.

In a move that has many on the left cautiously celebrating, Reuters reported on July 28 that Germany might reject a new trade agreement between Canada and the European Union.

Some commentators see Germany's move as proof that organizing against the new round of trade agreements is gaining ground.

The deal is called the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA. It's part of a new wave of large, aggressive trade deals that also includes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the United States and the European Union, and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) between 12 countries of the Pacific Rim.

If all the deals passed, they would affect more than half of the world's economy. But the red light from Germany could signal that these agreements are not as inevitable as their advocates suggest.

Germany's objections are centered specifically on the so-called "investor-state dispute settlement" provisions in CETA. These provisions-also known by the acronym ISDS-allow transnational corporations to take legal action against individual governments if they believe that the country's domestic laws violate a trade agreement. And the legal disputes happen through arbitration, which is a way to settle disputes completely outside of the involved countries' courts.

We've seen this movie before. Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) stipulates that three-person panels of private attorneys decide who wins in disputes between corporations and individual governments. These proceedings are closed to public observation.        


>>> Read the Full Article

For more information on this topic or related issues you can search the thousands of archived articles on the OCA website using keywords: