There are many frightening aspects to TTIP, the new trade deal between the EU and US that is being negotiated in secret. The fact that there is no democratic accountability to these deals is evidence enough that it’s a corporate carve up.
TTIP is complicated and has many elements to it. Perhaps the scariest is a mechanism called Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) for resolving “disputes” between corporations and governments.
ISDS would give corporations the power to sue our governments if they thought a law hurt their profits — this could be on anything from environmental rules, anti-smoking laws or rules on corporate taxes.
Investor-state dispute settlement is bad news. Here are a few of the problems with ISDS.
- It bypasses national court systems, establishing special tribunals that only corporations can access.
- It allows corporations to overturn democratically agreed rules and laws.
- It makes democracy more remote from the people.
- It could be a threat to our environment, public health laws, food standards rules, restrictions on hazardous chemicals and many other policy areas.
The European Commission is seeking views on this from citizens.
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