One of the most repugnant features of international trade agreements, from TPP to TTIP to CETA, is the "Investor State Dispute Settlement" (ISDS) clause, which gives corporations the power to sue governments to repeal health, safety, and environmental laws if they interfere with the company's profits.
Trade agreements are generally conducted under a cloak of absolute (and even farcical and Orwellian) secrecy, available only to government negotiators -- and corporate lobbyists (seriously) (no, worse than that), who often see their wish-lists literally pasted into the text of trade agreements.
The result is that, for example, Chinese corporations get to wriggle out of lawsuits over the sale of unsafe products that harm American consumers.
Apparently the world has had just about enough of this dirty "corporate sovereignty"; it has been substantially weakened in the new US-Mexico NAFTA negotiations, and the Asian Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is also gutting ISDSes.
Of course, poor, weak, corporate-dominated Canada is still mired in this garbage, with ISDSes front-and-centre in the agreements it struck with the EU and China and the resurgent TPP.
The new US thinking places Canada in a tricky position because the latter is involved in several trade deals, which take different approaches to corporate sovereignty. As well as the US-dominated NAFTA, there is CETA, the trade deal with Europe. For that, Canada is acquiescing to the EU's request to replace ISDS with the new Investment Court System (ICS). In TPP, however -- still lumbering on, despite the US withdrawal -- Canada seems to be going along with the traditional corporate sovereignty approach.
Corporate Sovereignty On The Wane, As Governments Realize It's More Trouble Than It's Worth [Glyn Moody/Techdirt]
Not everything is legal in New Jersey: Uber has to pay the state of New Jersey $650m in unemployment and disability tax for the employee drivers that it pretended were contractors. Uber is appealing. It will lose. Uber drivers in Jersey are now entitled to unemployment insurance. (via /.) (Image: Quotecatalog, Ervins Strauhmanis, CC BY, […]
Mysterious Galaxy is a wonderful, longstanding science fiction bookstore, host to readings for the Clarion Workshop, designated bookseller for Comic-Con signings, and much more.
Donald Trump has long made a sport of mocking Amazon founder and Washington Post newspaper owner Jeff Bezos, and Jeff Bezos is well aware of this.
A typical security camera can give you peace of mind. But that might be offset by the nagging feeling that it’s watching you, too. The best kind of security system is one that protects both your home and your privacy, and the blurams Dome Pro 1080p Security Camera is one rare model that’s set up […]
Sous vide cooking: It sounds fancy, but it’s actually one of the easiest and most reliable ways to cook. It’s the reason why many restaurants are able to put out delicious dishes with a consistent flavor. All you need is the right equipment, and that hasn’t always been available to those outside the resto crowd. […]
The more you use your computer, the more it becomes possible for others to use it too. Where there are anti-virus systems, there are hackers looking for a way to get around them. That’s why it’s important to get software that doesn’t just passively scout for viruses in the background. The folks behind GlassWire have […]