Nedemokratičnost ISDS določil v TTIP in TPP sporazumih

Kot smo tudi mi poudarili v naši študiji o vplivu sporazuma TTIP na slovensko gospodarstvo, je eno izmed treh ali štirih najbolj problematičnih (in nevarnih) področij v TTIP sporazumu zaščita pravic investitorjev (določila ISDSInvestor-State Dispute Settlement). Mehrene Larudee je bolj neposredna in pravi, da določila ISDS ogrožajo demokracijo. Pri tem daje zelo plastičen primer: kaj bi dejali, če bi nek sporazum zaposlenim zagotavljal železno garancijo glede bodočih plač in da bi, če bi delodajalec zaposlenega odpustil, bil slednji upravičen do izplačila bodočih plač? Svojo pravico bi namesto na sodišču lahko iskal na tribunalu, v katerem bi denimo sedeli trije dolgoletni sindikalni aktivisti. Lepo, mar ne?

No, to ISDS pomeni za tuja podjetja. Tujim podjetjem se v primeru spremembe regulacije v gostujoči državi ni treba ubadati z rednimi sodišči, pač pa je merodajen ad hoc mednarodni tribunal, sestavljen iz treh arbitrov. Domača podjetja te sreče nimajo, pač pa morajo iti po redni poti na sodišče. Zakaj bi morala imeti tuja podjetja poseben privilegij? In zakaj ne gre zaupati rednim sodiščem v razvitih državah OECD?

Much is wrong with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, the final version of which was released November 5, after years of secret negotiations. […]

Indulge in some pure fantasy for a moment: Imagine that an international agreement is signed and ratified, guaranteeing every worker an ironclad legal right to her future wages. Imagine it says that if an employer lays a worker off, the worker has a right to file a complaint that will be judged by a panel of three long-time union activists, likely to award her full compensation—all the future pay she would have earned. Sweet? You bet.

But it’s fantasy.

Its opposite, however, is not. What could become all too real is a near-guarantee of future profits from foreign investment for investors that are based in one TPP country, investing in some other TPP country. That’s the investor-state dispute settlement provision of the TPP. It allows corporate power to take big bites out of democracy.

ISDS provisions have been in certain trade agreements, like NAFTA, as well as in some investment treaties, for a couple of decades. What they do is described by Public Citizen in a series of cases at “Case Studies: Investor-State Attacks on Public Interest Policies.” Bill Moyers’ video Trading Democracy also has very clear examples of what the ISDS provision in Chapter 11 of NAFTA has done.

One case is about a U.S. firm suing the Mexican government: Metalclad Corporation bought a toxic waste dump in Mexico, and wanted to expand it. The local community, suffering an epidemic of cancer and other ailments from leaking toxic chemicals at the site, insisted that Metalclad first clean up the dump. Metalclad did not, and was denied a construction permit, but went ahead and started building anyway. When the district governor objected, the company filed a complaint against the Mexican government under Chapter 11—saying that its future profits, and hence part of the firm’s value, had been expropriated, and demanding compensation. The NAFTA tribunal ruled that the government did have to pay Metalclad $16 million.

Such decisions oppose the public interest and have a chilling effect on future environmental policies and decisions. Why should a private foreign investor be able sue a government that is acting in the public interest? (It shouldn’t.) Why should a foreign investor be allowed to bypass existing courts and go to an unelected tribunal of “trade experts” with sweeping powers? (It shouldn’t.) Why should private foreign corporations have legal rights in a country that the country’s own citizens lack? If the TPP is allowed to pass, the ISDS provision will permit foreign investors to bully governments and will make it that much harder for governments to make policies that protect the public interest. Now, they may be forced to pay corporations for the right to make such decisions. This is madness.

Vir: Mehrene Larudee

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