WikiLeaks exposes White House misinformation on TPP investment chapter
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, WikiLeaks released draft text of the all-important investment chapter of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement. A Friends of the Earth analysis of the leaked TPP investment chapter text shows that the U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and the White House have been misrepresenting the implications of TPP investment provisions, saying that the TPP provisions for investor-state dispute resolution are similar to U.S. constitutional standards (as when the state highway department takes a family’s backyard for a road expansion and must pay them just compensation). In fact, the TPP investment chapter text exposed by WikiLeaks departs significantly from U.S. constitutional standards.
As the Friends of the Earth analysis shows, foreign investors’ substantive and procedural rights in the leaked TPP investment chapter text are sweeping when compared to U.S. constitutional law or the general legal practice of nations around the world. Under existing U.S. trade and investment agreements, which are very similar to the text released yesterday, many international investment tribunals have already offered wildly expansive interpretations of investor rights under “expropriation” and “minimum standards of treatment” provisions. In addition, the investor-state dispute resolution procedural rights and the arbitrators who sit on these tribunals tend to be pro-plaintiff/ pro-corporate.
Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica had this to say about the TPP investment chapter text released by WikiLeaks:
Politely speaking, the release of the Trans Pacific Partnership investment chapter leaked through WikiLeaks demonstrated that the Obama administration is guilty of spreading false information about the potential implications of TPP on our ability to protect people and environmental from foreign investors. A more blunt assessment would be that the Obama administration is deliberately misleading Congress and the American people on the far reaching implications of this pro-corporate, pro-foreign investor, anti-environmental trade deal.