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In July 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives is likely to vote on three new free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. Friends of the Earth and other environmental advocates oppose ratification of the three agreements, which were negotiated by the George W. Bush administration and are based on the flawed model of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
All three agreements include NAFTA-style investment chapters that grant foreign corporations property rights that are unavailable under U.S. constitutional law. These rights enable corporations to sue the U.S. and other governments signed onto the trade pacts before international tribunals, and to seek money to compensate for the costs of complying with regulations that protect the environment and the public interest.
Friends of the Earth has just published an analysis of the proposed Korea free trade agreement to detail the threat its investment chapter poses to effective and fair environmental policies. The analysis also highlights a side agreement with Korea on trade in autos that threatens fuel economy and greenhouse gas reduction policies in both countries.