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]
The real estate bubble is in trouble: London's luxury housing market has been in freefall for years, and New York's retail vacancy has been soaring, even as global super-luxe housing is also tanking.
Maria Farrell admits that comparing smartphones to abusive men (they try to keep you from friends and family, they make it hard to study or go to work, they constantly follow you and check up on you) might seem to trivialize domestic partner violence, but, as she points out, feminists have long been pointing out […]
Google will not be required to admit it did anything wrong in a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) settlement over complaints the tech giant restricted employees’ speech —- but Google does have to inform employees of their protected free speech rights.
On the one hand, nostalgia is “a corruption of the historical impulse,” according to William Gibson. On the other hand, “Super Mario Bros.” will never not be cool. Luckily, there’s a way to satisfy that retro gaming while still keeping an eye on the future: The GameShell Kit. This thing is simultaneously the last handheld […]
The field of data analytics can get intimidating, even for business professionals who constantly rely on it. But at its heart, its purpose is to simplify. To take mounds of information and distill their insights into a single clear picture. Currently, the go-to software for painting that picture is Tableau. And if you want to […]
If you’re in the market for a stable, durable camera fully suited for first-person video, there’s a good chance that you’re the adventurous type. So why settle on a familiar name like GoPro? The DJI Osmo Action 4K HDR Camera checks off all the same boxes on the action cam checklist as the GoPro 4K […]